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NIL. A True Game Changer

For 115 years, the NCAA has regulated the athletic programs of colleges across the USA. Of course, programs within the NCAA have had to abide by the rules, and the rules have always extended beyond what happens on the field or court, and into the marketing office. 

Historically, student-athletes have been unable to monetize their name, image or likeness while also participating in NCAA competitions. For example, in 2010 an investigation concluded that former USC Trojans Running Back Reggie Bush and his family had accepted around $300,000 in gifts while he was a student-athlete. As a result, USC were punished heavily, vacating all of their wins from their 2004 national championship season and their 2005 season, as well as being banned from bowl games for two years.

Reggie Bush in a lot of space!

However, the landscape changed on July 1st, as legislation was created to allow student-athletes to yield income from their NIL, while also being able to partake in NCAA programs. However, there is still some regulation – as every individual schools will be able to create its own NIL rules that their athletes will have to abide by. As such, any brand opportunity for a student athlete must be submitted to the compliance department at their college, otherwise they still risk ineligibility.

The immediate benefits to brands and athletes are fairly clear: both can profit enormously from a new era of mutual business collaboration. Recently, a deal made by BYU has highlighted another potential winner in the new market created by the updated NIL regulations – the universities themselves.

BYU football have brokered a groundbreaking deal with one of its partners: Built Brands, who produce energy products. As per the terms of the deal, Built will pay a year’s full tuition for BYU’s 36 walk-on athletes, while also compensating the entire 123-player roster. In return, athletes will compete in event arranged by Built, and will wear Built-branded helmets.

The deal allows BYU to add an extra string to their bow when recruiting for their program, as alongside traditional promises of scholarships, regular playing time and championship contention, they can pitch the incentive of extra financial security to their prospective athletes to sweeten the pot. 

College football programs are currently limited in how many scholarships they can give out, in order to maintain a level playing field when it comes to recruiting talented athletes. Technically, BYU will still operate within this limit, but their deal with Built allows them to subsidize their entire roster, while giving 36 extra athletes the ability to have their education fully funded by the private sector – which in practice is effectively the same as having an extra 36 scholarships. As a recruitment tool, this fires BYU’s football program significantly ahead of the pack, and no doubt other universities will be scrambling to secure similar deals to bulk out their offers to talented players.

Of course, with the market being so new, there is still plenty of scope for other universities to take inspiration from BYU by making deals with brands to sponsor their players – and this is where Sportskred makes life significantly easier.

Sportskred technology keeps every athlete connected to compliance via our app while providing the students and college alike with the tools to understand not only the true value and effectiveness of their social media, but also the makeup of their audience, from location, gender and age, to their interests and the brands they love.

Now, couple that with content sharing tools that can deliver social media campaigns instantly at any scale, and you start to build a picture of the value colleges can bring to their students through Sportskred tech.

Sportskred is an operating system. But more than that, it’s our mission to bring everything and everyone together in one place, to form something far greater than the sum of its parts, ready for this exciting new world.

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