What is Name Image Likeness (NIL) Sponsorship?

NCAA college athletes and high school athletes now have the opportunity to benefit from their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). This means college athletes are now able to earn sponsorship money from brands like Nike, Puma & Gatorade who want them to be an ambassador for their brand.  There is currently a variety of state laws adopted across the country, but the NCAA has cleared any restrictions at the national leve.

The policy provides the following guidance to college athletes, recruits, their families and member schools:

– Athletes can engage in the activities under NIL rights per the rules of the NCAA and your state. The schools you attend can only act as a resource for legal and compliance questions.

– Athletes can use a professional NIL Agency in the pursuit of NIL activities and deals. This includes companies like Max Sports Marketing that enable athletes to safely and compliantly find NIL deals.

– NCAA Athletes in states that do not have specific NIL laws can still participate in these deals without violating NCAA regulations.

– Schools and athletic conferences may impose reporting requirements on schools and athletes

While opening name, image and likeness opportunities to student-athletes, the policy in all three divisions preserves the commitment to avoid pay-for-play and improper inducements tied to choosing to attend a particular school. Those rules remain in effect.

NCAA Athletes now hold significantly larger control over their career. NIL Sponsorship means that current and future generations of athletes no longer need to choose between pursuing their athletic dreams and making money.  You can now get paid for posting to social media, signing autographs, making appearances and being featured in ads and commercials, and much more.

Many brands and even some pro teams have already signed NIL Sponsorship deals with NCAA College and high school athletes.  Beyond earning income, student athletes may also use NIL as a way to help social causes and movements like mental health awareness, social justice, and equal rights.

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