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NFTs and NILs: The Opportunity For College Athletes & Small Businesses

By March 21, 2022No Comments

Entertainers and sports teams are partnering with existing creative departments to take advantage of the new opportunities NFTs present. But one audience that hasn’t seized this opportunity yet is college athletes.

This recent NIL Policy allows college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness. A large number of students have already begun benefiting from this, many of whom are choosing to partner with small business owners. Although they are already gaining success, none of them have taken advantage of using non-fungible tokens to fuel these sponsorships.

NFTs are opening up a new way to engage with an influencer, company, or brand. Due to their recent popularity, almost everyone knows what they are and how they work. As college athletes slowly start to build up their own brands, they could serve to incorporate NFTs into their marketing strategy.

For example, an athlete could create tokens that display:

  • Their name
  • An action shot from one of their games
  • A photo of them on campus at whichever college they attend
  • The athlete next to a company logo of the brand they’re partnered with

Tokens like these could be used in partnerships with large-scale and local businesses alike.
If college athletes incorporated these digital tokens into their NIL partnerships, there’s no telling how much these NFTs could increase in value. This is especially the case if they’re intending to stay in the sport for the long haul.

New collectives have already started popping up that are looking to head this sponsorship area. Signing Day is looking to provide college athletes the opportunity to make their own tokens. Although it’s yet to be seen how exactly these deals work, it just goes to show how much opportunity students have at their disposal.


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A post shared by Signing Day (@signingdaynft)

Looking Local

Wright’s Barbecue, a local Arkansas restaurant, recently partnered with student athletes on the Arkansas Razorbacks football team. Wright’s posted photos of them on their Instagram and a few of the athletes posted photos of themselves eating their barbeque. If NFTs had been in the mix, this could have provided Wright’s Barbecue with a longer-term sponsorship opportunity.

For example, they could have created tokens that acted as a voucher for clients to gain access to limited edition meals or flavors of barbeque. Or they could have done a digital giveaway at one of the Razorback’s games to give attendees an incentive to visit their physical store. While the opportunities are endless, the main takeaway is that these tokens can open up a world of possibilities.

An Investment Opportunity

NFTs can also be designed to provide their creators a form of passive income, meaning the original creator gets a percentage of the transaction each time they’re traded. If there are athletes on the Razorback’s that intend to go pro, their NFTs could provide their sponsors an investment for years to come.

By using new technology like NFTs, college athletes and their sponsors will be able to open up a world of new opportunities for their partnerships. With the combination of athletes signing NIL contracts and these digital tokens forecast to grow, this could be a good combination for everyone involved.

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