NIL Episode 7: Athletes In Non-Revenue Sports - Sportsfinda's Marketplace

In the Business of NIL Episode 7 our guest and reporter from Front Office Sports, Amanda Christovich. Christovich has been covering the whole world of college sports and the journey of the NIL along with it. 


While a lot of the talk of the NIL is about high profile athletes and athletes in division I and big name sports, there is also a side that is not as often talked about which is the lower divisions such as division II and III sports who don’t get as much attention. While the lower division athletes do not have the media following as division I might have, they do still have opportunities to have a big social media following, whether due to their sport or growing a large social media following in some other way which can create opportunities for them. 


For many lower division athletes, one of the biggest keys to success as well as opportunities for them is having community support behind their name to really help monetize their NIL. It is very important that these athletes:

  • Build a community behind their NIL
  • Have/grow a large social media following
  • Capitalize off of some opportunities they receive


High school players have also been trying to build a following and make money, which is a lot trickier than it sounds because different states have different rules regarding it. Many states and high schools do not allow for high school athletes to get represented that young and make money off their NIL, however there are some exceptions. Basketball phenom Mikey Williams, who is a rising junior just 17 years old, has recently signed with an agency that agreed to represent him. Williams has signed with Excel Sports for NIL representation and is able to do so because he is playing for an academy that allows him to do so with no restrictions or rules against it. 


However, many other star high school athletes are forced to wait until college now to get representation for their NIL because of the rules that may prevent them due to the state they live in, high school, etc. So while there may be opportunities for certain athletes in high school and many believe this could be a next step for the NIL, there are still many people and states against high school athletes profiting off their name image and likeness which makes this a big topic for the near future. 


College universities are doing their best to embrace the name image and likeness business and do whatever they can to try and help and assist their student athletes with the journey. This is due to a number of factors such as:

  • Recruitment advantages – makes it more appealing for athletes to choose a university when they know the school has their back and supports their athletes
  • Stay out of harm’s way – universities also want to make sure there star athletes are not breaking rules along the way to assure they do not getting in any sorts of trouble or suspensions throughout the season which would be a bad look on them as well as the school


To wrap it up, a bit of an issue for student athletes through the NIL process is the lack of education. A lot of athletes are unaware of what they can and can not do which is why it is very important to have representation and trustworthy people on your side to help you through the cans and cants. It is also important for these student athletes to know not everything is going to go exactly as planned, so it’s key to go through the journey and learn from your experiences and try to make it better for next time. 

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