The world of college sports changed forever with the adoption of the NIL policy.

For the first time, college athletes can now profit off of their names, images, and likenesses.

While many deals were struck in early July, others stayed back waiting to see how the new environment would play out.

Navigating the NIL Space

Although influencer marketing is on the rise, many college athletes have little to no experience marketing themselves.

To help these students navigate their new responsibilities, several brand-building technologies have teamed up with schools, offering resources to help athletes educate themselves about NIL topics, and research and engage in transactions.

Among these, Alabama-based INFLCR stands out. INFLCR allows athletes to access a personalized gallery of content, which they can use to share on their own social media platforms.

NIL By The Numbers

After one month of NIL, INFLCR was able to pull data from transactions of 100,000 athlete users:

  • 1,361 NIL deals
  • 53% of all transactions were reported by athletes playing sports outside of football or men’s and women’s basketball
  • 34% were football players
  • 13% were women’s or men’s basketball players
  • 20% were female athletes

What Does This Mean For Small Businesses?

After a month of brands, athletes, and businesses navigating these uncharted waters, here are a few takeaways that attempt to explain the landscape so far:

There are opportunities for you

As reflected by the data above, it’s not only the popular athletes in the top sports who are benefitting from NIL. More than half of the transactions were from sports other than football and basketball.

This should give hope to small businesses that may have felt like they were missing out on making deals with athletes. This statistic proves that you don’t need to secure a deal with the top-ranking player on the football or basketball team to make a deal.

Partnering with an athlete is a good way to get exposure

Because all of this is so new, some businesses may be wondering how a partnership with an athlete will benefit them at all, especially if it’s with a lesser-known athlete.

Partnering with a student-athlete is a great way to drive traffic to your business. Even if it’s small, these students will have some kind of following. Using someone who others view as a “trusted source” to promote your business will get attention no matter what.

Educate yourself on the landscape

To help navigate these new changes, many universities like Penn State are developing programs to help educate their athletes on compliance and personal branding.

Additionally, software like INFLCR and Opendorse provide resources on their apps to help athletes learn how to best monetize themselves.

With all the students taking initiative on learning the landscape, it’s good to follow their lead and dive into some of the resources.

Looking to these companies to see how they’re navigating NIL will set you ahead when it comes time to make your own deal.

Keep your eyes on the future

As this new era unfolds, it’s likely that NCAA compliance issues will arise.

Currently, student-athletes engaging in NIL deals must follow their respective state laws. For states without NIL laws, it’s up to schools to develop their own rules.

With all of the uncertainty, it seems likely that there will be some potential federal NIL legislation happening in the future, so it’s a good idea to keep up with NIL and watch as it plays out.

Regardless of what happens, it’s exciting thinking about all the new opportunities that will come about from this new era.

Want to know how you can take advantage of the NIL policy for your small business? Contact us today!