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Everything you need to know about NCAA Student-Athlete NIL Brand Partnerships

NCAA Student Athlete NIL Brand Partnerships


The National Collegiate Athletic Association also known as the NCAA, had a bar imposed on college athletes from receiving payments or compensation for their sponsorships or endorsements. NCAA’s NIL policy is now officially active since July 1st, 2021. This policy is slated to change the college sports scenario and impact college athletes. Thus move is being greeted as financial freedom for all the college students in the USA.

NCAA NIL partnerships allow name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal legitimately as per this new state policy. College athletes are allowed to receive ‘NIL compensation’ for the content which is posted as sponsored on social media. They are permitted to promote brands, products, or services using the NIL elements without an impact on their eligibility or scholarships. This will allow the NCAA students to receive marketing deals, accept sponsorships, user agents, and get paid legitimately for their content without implications. 


How can a brand benefit from it?

The athletes still in college can profit from this new policy by monetizing endorsements and sponsorships and also brands as they can collaborate with youth influencers representing sports and culture.

This presents a great opportunity for student-athlete brand partnerships.  The influencer marketing industry is estimated to be valued at $15 billion by 2022 and we are looking at more growth with this policy which is bound to expand the horizon by introducing thousands of influencers into the fold.  These collaborations will open up more opportunities for the brands involved as they gain access to a pool of youth influencers and newer customer bases.

Most sports influencers are highly paid individuals and though have an engaged fan base they also do generate a bit of nix by the masses because of their star status. That however is not the case with athletes from colleges, though they have a smaller fan base but have a higher engagement rate. The people who are turned off by professional sportspersons or athletes could be reached with the raw and genuine appeal of college-level sports and the spirit of the athletes thus, making their endorsements more personal and authentic.

This is how a business can promote its brand, product, or service using accomplished college or university-level athletes who are students with determination and triumph in sporting events.


Why did this policy come into effect?

The athletes in college being prohibited from receiving compensation had been quite an issue. Finally, the NCAA took the step and brought this policy into effect. One major point to be noted is that these student-athlete partnership deals need to come from businesses and not the university itself.

The National Bureau of Economic Research study states that NCAA schools earn about $ 8.5 billion annual revenue from their participating students with more than 50% of that revenue coming in from Basketball and Football. At the same time, about 7% of the amount of that revenue is what the athletes receive in form of stipends or scholarships. On the other hand leagues like the NFL or NBA spends about 50% of their generated revenue on their athletes as salaries.

This new law is into effect in states like Florida, Alabama, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, and Mississippi. Other states that do not have a NIL law do not hold any obligations. However, NCAA NIL partnerships do not allow sponsorships from brands associated with brands, products, or services that are inconsistent with the values of postsecondary education like e-cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, steroids, adult entertainment, or betting.

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