After several years of debate and decades of long standing rules, the NCAA announced an interim policy on Wednesday, June 30th that will allow all college athletes to make money from a wide variety of business ventures without losing their eligibility.
As we enter into the first few weeks of this policy taking hold, we wanted to take a deeper look at what this means for college athletes, brands, and the advertising and marketing industries at large.
A decision which came on Wednesday, June 30th, 2021, announced a policy that gives all NCAA student athletes the ability to monetize their name, image, and likeness (NIL). This decision comes as many states are getting ready to pass laws (or already have) that will allow NCAA athletes to monetize their NIL.
The new policy will allow students outside of those few states to engage in NIL activities that are “consistent with the law of the state where the school is located” and allows students in states without NIL laws to participate without breaking any NCAA rules and jeopardizing their eligibility.
With this ruling athletes will now be able to make money from their NIL and accept endorsements from brands. Some of the activities that this ruling will allow athletes to monetize include:
In addition, NCAA athletes will now be allowed to sign with agents, managers, or other representatives to help them secure these types of deals. They can also hire lawyers, accountants and other professionals.
What does this mean for athletes?
What does this mean for the over 460,000 NCAA student-athletes? Well it means that they will have the opportunity to share in the billions of dollars that are generated by college sports every year. On top of the scholarship assistance they receive they will now be able to make money off of their personal brands. For some of these athletes this is pivotal as their time as an NCAA athlete is the peak of their athletic career and notoriety.
Things are in motion
As soon as this policy went into effect, deals began to get signed, brands worked to secure partnerships, and athletes took to their social media to announce their new endorsements. Let’s take a look at a few of the most notable that have come to fruition:
The Cavinder Twins
Haley and Hanna Cavinder, the star guards for the Fresno State women’s basketball team, who sport 3.3 million followers on TikTok, 67,000 youtube subscribers, and a combined 500,000 Instagram followers, we’re the first to announce their endorsements.
The brand’s decision to work with athletes that aren’t top prospects was intentional, Stephen Stokols the CEO of Boost Mobile told Yahoo Sports, “That was an ideal one for us to kind of launch and say, ‘Hey, look, this isn’t just about blue-chip athletes coming in and sort of trying to get them before [they get to] the NBA or NFL. This is about all athletes. And every athlete in every sport in every type of school has an opportunity to really create value for themselves.” The brand is also planning to work with athletes nationwide, with a list of over 400 that began reaching out to last week.
The twins also signed a deal with Six Star Nutrition, already posting content for the brand.
Other notable deals:
While these are just a few of the many deals that have been signed and announced in the past few weeks, it’s clear that there is plenty of opportunity to be had here for brands and athletes alike and that both sides are moving quickly.
What does this mean for brands?
The NCAA NIL policy first and foremost gives brands access to 460,000 influencers and content creators that they didn’t have prior, as well as access to their audience and fan bases. While this brings great opportunities to brand’s there are two big things that should be considered when forging ahead with these partnerships: the type of content that NCAA athletes can create, the caliber of that content, and the varying rules across each state.
All of this being said the opportunities to be had here are endless and we are excited to begin working with brand’s to activate NCAA athletes for their brand partnerships and influencer campaigns. We’ve been around the influencer marketing world for years now and have an expert understanding of how these partnerships should be approached. Don’t hesitate to use us as your go-to resource.
Let us help you navigate this new landscape
If you’re looking to work with NCAA athletes, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help you navigate these partnerships from start to finish, from utilizing our database and relationships with macro and micro NCAA athletes, to ensuring that all rules and regulations are adhered to.