The sports agency business has been a lucrative space for decades. With the implementation of the NIL policy, it’s only continuing to thrive.
The new NIL environment has also given rise to a new type of sports business: sports agencies and consulting firms that specialize in NIL strategies.
The demand for this type of business is growing rapidly as colleges and athletes seek out resources and guidance to best navigate the evolving landscape.
Among the dozens of businesses that have begun to gain traction, here is a breakdown of a few most popular agencies:
Founded in 2012 by former University of Nebraska football player, Blake Lawrence, Opendorse was originally started to help athletes build their social media brands.
These programs are designed to assist college athletes with NIL.
Opendorse stands out because it actually connects brands and fans to the athletes, and simplifies the process of sponsorship deals.
INFLCR was founded in 2018 by Jim Cavale. His main goal is to help empower athletes as storytellers.
INFLCR provides a personalized stream of content that makes it easy for athletes to get photos and video clips taken of them. In doing so, athletes can quickly post and grow their social media presence, while also making sure they stay compliant.
INFLCR stands out by placing its emphasis on growing athletes’ social media presence so they can be more attractive to businesses looking to sponsor them.
INFLCR also recently struck a deal with the Atlantic 10 Conference for a multi-year partnership. INFLCR will now provide A-10 institutions with their technology to help navigate NIL deals.
Altius Sports Partners was founded by Casey Schwab with the goal of helping athletic departments, coaches, and student-athletes thrive in the new age of college athletics.
Altius offers customized solutions to help universities address the new changes and challenges brought with the NIL. Like other similar platforms, they also provide valuable resources to help educate students and athletic departments.
This company stands out by focusing solely on advising colleges on money-making opportunities for players.
OneTeam Partners was founded by Ahmad Nassar and helps athletes maximize the value of their NIL rights.
OneTeam utilizes the influence and value of athletes to generate deals and secure placement on highly desired cap tables.
This company stands out by specializing in the collective licensing rights of all athletes – from professional to collegiate.
MatchPoint is a Louisiana-based tech company founded by Henry Hays.
This platform allows talent and brands to discover and negotiate deals in a simple way.
This app encompasses all types of talent, from athletes to podcasters to bloggers. It stands out by allowing two-way communication between the talent and the brand.
Many similar apps allow athletes to set their own rate and wait for businesses to approach them with a deal.
MatchPoint provides athletes with an opportunity to pitch directly to the companies they want to make a deal with.
The Takeaway for Small Businesses
These agencies have simplified the process of securing partnerships by providing small businesses and fans the chance to reach out to athletes directly within their platforms.
If you’re looking to sponsor an athlete, consider looking into these businesses to see how to get started with the process.
Platforms like Opendorse and INFLCR have simplified the process of securing partnerships by allowing small businesses and fans the chance to communicate directly.
Opendorse, for example, allows small businesses and advertisers to browse through profiles of athletes and pitch a deal with them all within the Opendorse platform.
INFLCR is partnered with several marketplaces that help athletes make endorsement deals with brands. Through INFLCR, athletes can access platforms like Icon Source, which connects brands/businesses and athletes in a secure spot. Every deal the athlete makes goes back to INFLCR to be checked for compliance.
The INFLCR team is actively searching for athletic endorsement marketplaces to make sure the student athletes have multiple options. It is important for small businesses to monitor these marketplaces if they are seeking endorsements.
The Future of Sports Business
As more students look to score their own endorsement deals, these firms will likely see more growth and competition.
One sports business expert predicted the NIL space will become a $100 million industry in the first year alone, with some athletes commanding $1 million a year or more by the end of 2021.
Nothing is set in stone with the NIL environment, but it’s important to start looking to these agencies and see how small businesses can assert themselves in this space.
Want to know how you can put your small business in front of a student athlete? Contact us today!