This is an excerpt from Sport Marketing 5th Edition With HKPropel Access by Windy Dees,Patrick Walsh,Chad D. McEvoy,Steve McKelvey,Bernard J. Mullin,Stephen Hardy & William A. Sutton.
College Athletes’ Name, Image, and Likeness
In 2019, the ongoing argument of whether college student-athletes should be paid reached a potential tipping point. That year, California was the first state to pass a law to allow college student-athletes to benefit financially from their NIL. California’s passing of this law, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2023, would essentially permit these athletes to be paid by outside companies (i.e., not by the colleges and universities) for the use of their NIL. Theoretically, this would allow college student-athletes to be paid to be in commercials, on billboards, through social media posts, etc. Since 2019, several other states have introduced similar bills with varying degrees of stipulations, and the NCAA issued a carefully worded statement indicating that college student-athletes could potentially “benefit” from their NIL.
While there are still numerous legal and logistical hurdles to overcome with these legislations, we anticipate that college student-athletes will be able to financially benefit in some way from the use of their NIL. This will create an entirely new potential market for companies to market through college sports and the student-athletes. With that said, we do not expect that most college student-athletes will “get rich” off their NIL. We predict that the biggest impact will likely be with local companies that wish to use student-athletes from surrounding colleges to promote their businesses. For example, in a place like Columbus, Ohio, many of the Ohio State University student-athletes may benefit from working with local businesses in the area. However, a small number of elite, well-known college student-athletes may be able to be used from a national perspective with major brands, and earn more money (in the six figures), if legislation is passed on a national level. In addition, college student-athletes with large social media following will benefit more as companies look to them to promote brands to their followers.