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The Lead Up to NIL

    This article was initially written as a Guest Post for the American Volleyball Coaches Association and appeared HERE. June 24, 2021 │ By Michelle MeyerIf you’re similar to the college coaches that I’ve spoken to recently, you’re aware that NCAA Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) reform is coming soon. However, you aren’t quite sure how this is going to affect your athletes, your team, and your university. To be clear, nobody knows yet.On July 1, collegiate athletes in six states (Florida, Alabama, New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi) will be permitted to monetize their NIL. There is also a strong possibility that the NCAA passes NIL reform to cover all states at their meetings later this month. In my opinion, they can’t afford not to.Regardless of the NCAA passing sweeping legislation or not, the first months of NIL are bound to be chaotic and confusing. As a college coach, being proactive NOW and taking simple steps to educate yourself before this goes into effect will have a positive impact on your athletes, team culture, and may even help your recruiting game.KNOW WHAT RULES YOU’RE NIL’ING BYAt the time of writing this (Sunday, June 20), 19 states have passed their own NIL bills and there are four more sitting on the respective Governor’s desk for signature.While the state NIL bills are similar, there are subtleties in them that could affect your athletes and their eligibility. There are differences in reporting requirements (some states require athletes to report deals seven days in advance while others don’t specify a timeframe or even require reporting), deal opportunities (New Mexico allows athletes to sign shoe endorsements regardless of the institution’s existing contract with a shoe brand), and requirements for representation (Oklahoma’s NIL bill dedicates around 20 pages to defining an agent and their roles).Familiarize yourself with your state NIL bill, where it’s at in the legislative processes, and any nuances that make it unique.Even though the NCAA may pass NIL reform before the end of June, state bills trump the NCAA. For those states with effective NIL laws, the institutions and athletes will be playing by their state laws until a federal NIL bill is passed. For states without NIL laws, it is still unclear what their rules will look like.UNDERSTAND THE SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR YOUR ATHLETESUniversities have been partnering with 3rd party NIL companies at a rapid pace in 2021. In fact, over 80% of the Power 5 schools have an NIL resource of some kind in place for their athletes to utilize once the legislation goes into effect. These offerings vary greatly: some schools are focused on education and compliance while others are focused on building the athlete’s brand and optimizing their social media to ensure the greatest opportunity to cash in on NIL. There’s one thing they all have in common: Comprehensive NIL services are the new “shiny locker room” that programs and coaches can use to entice recruits.If your athletic department is offering an NIL resource, learn about it and how it may help your athletes succeed. If your …

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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