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January 2022

    By Joshua Frieser, Frieser LegalSince July 1st, 2021, NCAA student-athletes have been able to utilize their name, image, and likeness (NIL) and capitalize on their athletic ability by hosting camps and providing lessons. While the majority of college athlete NIL activity has included sponsored social media posting, camps and lessons are an excellent way for student-athletes to monetize their NIL and athletic skill. As college athletes transition to off-seasons, school breaks, and summer, they will have more time to host camps and give lessons, both in the locale of their university or back at home. While hosting a camp can be a very profitable endeavor, student-athletes will have several legal considerations before doing so. The Location of the Camp or Lessons The first thing a student-athlete should consider is the location of their camp or lessons. Depending on their sport, it will be at a gym, a public court or field, or a private facility. Here are some examples of where student-athletes could host a camp: a basketball student-athlete could utilize a local high school gym; a golf student-athlete could use the driving range at a municipal golf course; and a baseball or softball student-athlete could use a private training center with batting cages and pitching mounds. The options for an appropriate venue depend largely on the sport. Contacting all of the potential facilities to get more information and a quote is a good place to start. After finding a good location to host the camp, make sure to sign a contract with the venue that includes the cost for the venue, as well as the date, time, and details of the event. Other negotiated details should also be included. What Equipment is Needed The equipment needed also depends largely on the sport. It is possible that the facility you are using may have appropriate equipment like basketballs or footballs. When contacting potential facilities, ask about the equipment they may also be able to provide. If a basketball student-athlete is hosting a camp at a local high school gym, the facility might also be able to include basketballs as part of the facility rental. In addition to balls, bats, sticks, gloves and other equipment that may be needed, consider the need for cones, markers, goals, nets, and pinnies. You may also want to provide participants with a t-shirt with the name of the camp on it—that is another great way to build your brand. If you are renting equipment from a local provider, make sure to sign a contract with the details of the transaction. Liability Planning Student-athletes have been able to bring in thousands and in some cases millions of dollars through NIL deals. Without appropriate liability planning, personal assets and income could be at stake if a camp participant were to suffer a serious injury. While there is always inherent risk involved in any sports activity, student-athletes should work to limit the risk of injury and limit the risk of liability. Limiting the risk of injury to participants includes making sure that the facility and equipment are safe and adequate. College student-athletes …

As NIL grows rapidly and enters 2024 as a billion dollar industry, more brands are jumping in and reaping the benefits of college athletes promoting their products or services. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that only the biggest and most popular athletes can deliver campaign results. Here, College Athlete Influencers explores why that’s not the case and how brands can maximize their ROI through college athlete influencers.

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