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One Year of NIL Network

by michelle

An Update for NIL Service Providers

Happy Holidays! I can’t believe that it’s already been one year since I registered NIL Network and started my goal of building a hub of NIL resources for athletes, coaches, and administrators to successfully navigate this new era of collegiate sports. 

The past year has been a whirlwind of learning, micro pivoting, and building a community of wonderful people who want the same things that I do: for collegiate athletes to be empowered, successful, and protected in their NIL endeavors. 

On a personal note, I just started a new position at San Diego State as their NIL Coordinator and couldn’t be more excited to build their program and watch SDSU athletes thrive. One month into this role and it’s more clear than ever that NIL Network is a crucial resource for athletes, coaches, and administrators to successfully navigate the NIL era: The athletes are overwhelmed. The coaches are confused about how and to what extent they’re able to help. And the administrators are overloaded dealing with all of the other complex and pressing issues in collegiate sports.

Given that NIL Network is still in its early stages of development and is already highly utilized, I know with its continued expansion, NIL Network will prove even more valuable to athletes.

My vision for NIL Network is to be a collaborative effort of NIL companies that want to help collegiate athletes. I want to aggregate educational content, upcoming events, and deal opportunities in one place. I want to showcase companies that are being transparent, prioritizing education, and are driven by an athlete-first business model.  

I believe that in the early years of the NIL era, this collective approach can only help your company: 

  • Education Leads to Empowerment: Athletes are more likely to utilize the incredible services you have developed if they are confident in their knowledge and choices.
  • Free Marketing: NIL Network is already being utilized regularly by tens of thousands of people. Participating in the various opportunities will highlight your company and build brand awareness. 
  • Opportunity to Improve Your SEO: Any educational content you contribute will include backlinks to your website.
  • Strategically Position Your Business: NIL Network is a trusted and unbiased resource that collegiate coaches and administrators guide their athletes towards. Contributing can help increase confidence in your company.  

Opportunities to Contribute

Athlete Service Provider Directory 

Over the past few months, this directory, even in bare bones form, has been by far the most utilized page on NIL Network. My original assumption (and what I founded NIL Network on) that a comprehensive directory of businesses being essential for athletes to navigate this new space has been absolutely confirmed.

Why? Primarily, most university employees (admins, staff, coaches) have been instructed to not make service provider recommendations because if they do, they may put the institution at risk for future lawsuits. University employees, most of whom go above and beyond to help their student-athletes in all other areas, have their hands tied. They need a neutral directory to send their athletes to. 

Furthermore, as with any new industry, there are bound to be bad actors. Collegiate athletes are very vulnerable right now and because of this, are hesitating to get the help they need. They don’t know who to trust. Building a directory is crucial to building rapport between athletes and the NIL companies that are doing a great job serving them.

I’m making the directory more informative by asking you to complete your company’s profile HERE. As an incentive, businesses with complete profiles will be marked as “Preferred” and listed above all companies in their category who have not provided their information (until June 1, 2022). 

Upcoming NIL Events

  • What: Aggregation and promotion of any nationwide educational event open to athletes, coaches, and/or administrators to learn about the various topics of NIL (webinars, Q&As, clubhouse lives, etc.). 
  • Why: There are so many wonderful educational opportunities that are being hosted, but currently they aren’t reaching the massive audience they should. Aggregating them into one place will make them easier to find. 
  • Benefit to Your Company: Free marketing, increased registrations, brand affinity
  • How to: Submit your event here

Expert Education Pieces (example)

  • What: Aggregating and promoting niche educational content for athletes, coaches, and administrators.
  • Why: Similar to NIL events, there is a lot of great content being produced but it’s getting lost. Aggregating content will make it easier to find. 
  • Benefit to Your Company: Improve your SEO through backlinks, showcase your expertise through content marketing.
  • How to: Send me an email (michelle@nilnetwork.com) with a link to the article you’d like shared. I’ll add the Canonical tag saying that your link is the original article and link back to your original article and/or website.

Coming Soon

“Meet The Company” Series 

  • What: Q&A interviews highlighting NIL companies, their founders, and their missions in an effort to ensure that businesses doing great work are noticed and that athletes can have more insights before signing on.
  • Why: With over 200 companies providing services for collegiate athletes, it is very difficult for athletes to find a good fit. This series will bring attention to the people behind the businesses and ensure athletes understand who they will be working with.
  • Benefit to Your Company: Highlighted on the homepage of NIL Network for a week, Post on Instagram, Backlinks to improve SEO, Increase brand awareness.
  • How to: Register your interest on the Athlete Service Provider Form and I’ll be in touch!

That’s Your Opportunity (digital marketplaces only)

  • What: Listing brand partnership opportunities in one place, simplifying the process for athletes and driving new memberships for the marketplaces.
  • Why: Since July 1, I’ve had countless athletes reach out about how to get started with NIL. I’ve directed them to the digital marketplaces and they’ve been immediately overwhelmed with their choices. On the digital marketplace side, some deals are left undiscovered. Aggregating deal opportunities will benefit both the athletes and the marketplaces. 
  • Benefit to Your Company: Customer acquisition, Brand acquisition (NIL Network will direct inquiries from brands to list on this page to any marketplace that is sharing their deal opportunities).
  • How to: Register your interest on the Athlete Service Provider Form and I’ll be in touch!

Cheers to building a network and supporting college athletes! And of course, thank you for your support… It means the world to me, the 500,000 collegiate athletes, thousands of coaches, and countless administrators that are all trying to navigate this new world.  

Disclaimer: NIL Network reserves the right to remove a service provider and their content from the website at any time and for any reason.