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We are roughly two months away from when some college athletes are expected to be able to profit from the commercial use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The states of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and New Mexico are all expected to give college athletes attending a school in their state the ability to profit from the commercial use of their name, image, likeness beginning July 1, 2021. This will be the first step in allowing college athletes to finally enjoy the rights that other Americans enjoy. That is the right to control and profit their own name, image, and likeness.
The charge to give college athletes these rights has been ongoing for years as college athletics has grown into a billion-dollar industry. College sports is riddled with billion-dollar broadcasting deals and million-dollar coaches salaries. In 2019, California became the first state enact a law seeking to give college athletes the ability to profit from opportunities in the billion-dollar industry that their labor propels. However, California’s law entitled the “Fair Pay to Play Act” does not become effective until 2023. To this dates, 11 states have enacted laws seeking to give college athletes the right to profit from their NIL. States are not the only players in expanding the rights of college athletes, as there are several related bills before the United States Congress and the NCAA is expected to amend NIL their rules.
As college athletes gain the right to profit from their name, image, and likeness, there will be many opportunities available to them. One of the greatest sources of those opportunities will be via social media. College athletes will have opportunities to promote brands and products on social media, thereby becoming a social media influencer. Accordingly, it is important that current and prospective college athletes begin taking the steps the necessary to prepare for their impending new opportunities. For tips how to prepare, check out my free e-book – “A Guide Name, Image, and Likeness.”