NIL Episode 8: Digging Into Deals and Contracts - Sportsfinda's Marketplace

In the Business of NIL Episode 8 our guest and sports attorney, Mit Winter will be speaking today on what to look for in NIL contracts and deals as well as how to approach them. Mit has a lot of knowledge in this department, as he was a D1 athlete playing basketball in college. Following that he went to law school to study law in sports which helped lead him to where he is today working as an attorney in the sports industry. His firm currently represents some Universities as well as student athletes around NIL. 


As this process is new to student athletes worldwide, there are many things to look out for or keep in mind while looking to sign a new deal, or looking over a contract. Some of these things to look out for/be aware of include:

  • What you are giving a business the right to do (in regards to your NIL)
  • How long is the term in the agreement (short term, long term)
  • Who owns the intellectual property that may be used for your NIL (such as a logo, brand used for an athletes apparel)
  • Termination rights for deals so they can get out of a deal if wanted (some may not have have an option to terminate a deal)
  • Is the deal you are entering exclusive or non-exclusive 
  • Payment details (how and when will you get paid)
  • What happens in a breached agreement between the two parties (who gets in trouble, how can it be settled)


It is very important for student athletes going into new deals to have someone (an attorney, a parent, agent or whomever it may be) read and go through the agreements and details of the deal very carefully in order to protect the athletes side of the deal and assure that nothing happens which can cause a breach in the agreement or get the athletes side of the deal in any sort of legal trouble by not knowing the details in and out of the agreement. Also this is to assure that the other party going into the deal is not trying to take advantage of the athlete and put their side in a very favorable position. 


For student athletes, there are a lot of opportunities coming into the NIL era, however there are still some cautions that student athletes should be aware of. Some of the things these athletes should avoid doing are:

  • Do not enter an agreement until you read and understand every detail
  • Do not enter agreements without notifying your compliance office first, as it can be a violation of school policies or state laws which can cause suspension

As much as student athletes may like the new NIL opportunities they have, it may be a scary thought but it is a reality that they can get in legal trouble and be sued if not careful. A big tip to avoid this scare and avoid being sued is to:

  • Do what the deal asks you to do to make sure you do not breach the terms


Overall, this is a very exciting time for student athletes to be able to monetize their name image and likeness. However, as exciting it may be for student athletes getting these opportunities it is still very important to be careful about the people you are entering into deals with to make sure you are not getting taken advantage of. Additionally, when you do find a good deal it is important to read and go through all the agreements as well as disclosing the deal to your school to avoid any sorts of legal trouble or suspension occurring. 


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