NIL Episode 1: Business Off The Field - Sportsfinda's Marketplace

In “The Business of NIL Episode 1” our guest and former football player, JR Tolver discusses how college athletes across the world can truly become the best business off the field. The name image and likeness business (NIL) is a new concept for collegiate athletes everywhere, and will be a learning stone for years to come. A good starting place for athletes who are sort of unsure of how to handle this situation is to set his or her values. As Tolver describes, “athletes are going to start getting money thrown at them from all sorts of different directions,” and it will be important for them to have a vision in mind of what they want to accomplish as well as making sure they are being financially smart and handling these situations in a professional manner. It is important for athletes to have a vision and a goal set for them similar to they do on the field, so they do not just “go out and follow the money” which could have a negative toll. 


The second step for being successful off the field as a business is the process it takes to operate. This includes:

  • Liability – Being responsible for your assets and money coming in
  • Taxes – Being aware that you will get taxed and keeping the money in mind
  • Revenue – Being aware of the amount of income generated by his/her business


It is important for athletes to be responsible for every dollar that they receive. As JR says, “it is important to realize that you are going to get taxed, and you have to be responsible for the money coming in” and additionally athletes need to make sure they know how to handle all of it as it is a new experience for many student athletes and it can be overwhelming. 


Another important aspect for student athletes is to make sure they are surrounded by good people that will be at their sides through the ups and downs, and most importantly people they can trust. As Tolver mentions some of his tips for athletes, this is a very important one because many athletes now can come across a contract and for many of them it may the first time coming across a contract, it is very important to have some good people on your side who you know and trust to make sure nothing can go wrong with the contract, money, etc. 


Another bit of advice Tolver talks about is that it is important for these athletes to not feel too much pressure to sign a contract. Because as he says “if one deal does not feel right and doesn’t work out, another one will come along.” 


It is important to:

  •  Be patient and not force a deal if it does not feel right. 
  • Know that you are not alone through the process, and get help if needed 
  • Stay focused on school and their respective sport as well 

One of Tolver’s biggest pieces of advice for athletes that are trying to succeed with their business is to:

  • “Be proactive and really control your situation and plan it out supposed to be reactive and just reacting to what happens to you”


It is most important to be effective and strategic to not only maximize the money that can be coming in, but to maximize opportunity and really build the name, image and likeness up to the highest it can be. 

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