If you are a college athlete or plan to play a sport in college, this blog is for you! Florida, among other states, now allows college athletes to profit from using their name, image, or likeness (NIL) in endorsements, sponsorships, social media marketing, autographs, and more. These NIL deals are separate from any scholarships or grants awarded by their School and athletes retain all the profits earned. Here are some tips for college athletes who want to make money through NIL deals.
1. Familiarize yourself with the rules. By understanding your state's NIL regulations and the NCAA's guidelines, you will be aware of what you can and cannot do.
2. Utilize social media. Sponsors are attracted to athletes with strong personal brands. One way to cultivate your brand is through social media. You can create content, show off your skills, and interact with your audience, which will increase your following and get your name out there. With a popular brand, you become more attractive to sponsors who are willing to offer better deals.
3. Retain a lawyer to draft your compensation agreements. Lawyers know how to craft contracts and negotiate with your best interests in mind. They can advise you on the best way to benefit from your NIL, while still complying with state law. This may end up saving you lots of time and money down the road.
4. Be wary of deals that appear too good to be true. Although athletes are now allowed to profit from use of their NILs, there are still certain prohibitions under the NCAA rules, such as no "pay for play" and no compensation that is tied to performance. Accepting these types of deals may come back to haunt you, so it is best to avoid them, even in moments of desperation.
5. Make sure your NIL deals are always in writing. Doing deals verbally over handshakes are not a good idea even if you know and trust the person. Circumstances can change over time and you will be best protected if you can point to a formalized document stipulating your NIL terms.
The attorneys of Venustas Law can answer any questions you may have about NIL deals and draft or review your NIL compensation agreements.