NIL NETWORK INSIGHT
Recap: Neumann-Goretti basketball became the first known high school program to partner with a third party to educate their athletes about NIL. The company, Slash Athletes, is a digital learning and skill-building platform that mostly works with collegiate athletes to build their brands. The head boy’s basketball coach, Carl Arrigale, jumped at the opportunity to provide his athletes with this educational experience and to send them off to college with an additional competitive edge in the NIL space.
Observations: Assistant coach John Brennan makes a strong point in that even though the majority of NIL press coverage is aimed towards the big-time men’s basketball and football programs, there will be opportunities for niche sport athletes and even those competing at D2 or D3 universities. The more knowledge a junior athlete can gain around building their personal brand, the more likely they will be able to secure NIL deals once they are in college.
Athlete Tips & Takeaways:
- Although junior athletes can’t monetize their NIL until they become collegiate athletes, there is prep work that can be done to best prepare them. What work are you doing on your personal brand to prepare?
The Neumann-Goretti High School boys basketball program has a strong history of opening doors for many student-athletes to play at higher levels. Now the team is going a step further.
The Saints have entered an agreement with Pittsburgh-based Slash Athletes, which is a digital learning and skill-building platform to help student-athletes build their brands while competing in college sports. The NCAA has recently developed proposals to modernize rules to help student-athletes earn compensation from their name, image and likeness. Currently, college athletes are forbidden to make money off of their own names and brands, but that is expected to change. The NCAA is expected to have the new changes to Name Image Likeness go in effect for the 2021-22 school year, which has schools at all levels preparing for life-changing opportunities.
Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale and his staff have anticipated these changes coming, and the Saints jumped at the opportunity to get in on the ground floor to help educate their athletes on what may be ahead. The Saints have placed more than 30 players on Division I schools under Arrigale, and many more have played at Division II and III schools.
Arrigale said he sees it as an opportunity for his athletes “to gain a competitive edge for when they do go to college by learning how to build positive brands.”
Although Slash Athletes is officially only a month old, its CEO Jordon Rooney formed deep roots helping student-athletes understand how to build brands. Rooney created the nonprofit Never Fear Being Different, which hosts an annual high school football all-star game, among other ventures. His VlogU is known as the first social media marketing agency run by high school students. The program teaches digital literacy, effective online leadership and career development. His new company aims to help athletes understand brand development, effective online leadership and digital economy career development, which can be helpful tools for college athletes to utilize.