Colleges seek fame, not money
Developing news in college sports over the last few years has consisted of the progress surrounding NIL (name, image, and likeness) deals. While it feels as if college sports have not changed much, some say this is for the better, NIL deals have been produced as a result of this need for change. Starting on July 1st, 2021 athletes gained monetary benefits for their success as athletes. Many of the biggest names in college sports wasted no time, signing deals with major brands such as Nike and Adidas hours after the rules changed.
Before July 1st, athletes had restrictions when signed with brands. These restrictions allowed them to promote on social media but with some rules surrounding this. Most notably, they also could only receive “payment” in the form of gear or whatever product that the brand provided.
Colleges and brands have been making large amounts of money off of athletes with them gaining not much in return. This is not the same for professional athletics. Now college athletes can actually earn some money for their time, effort, and risk in participating in college sports.
Most recently Texas A&M golfer Sam Bennett took advantage of his stellar play on the big stage at the 2023 Master Tournament. Quickly following this tournament he signed deals with Ping Golf and T-Mobile.This landed him an estimated $93k in NIL deals — a huge change in momentum for the previously unsigned athlete.
Georgia Tech's football players head to their first game of the season, some of them will be sporting a new set of TiVo-branded pajamas. The new era of name, image and likeness deals in college sports never sleeps. The new clothes are part of what Georgia Tech players received in exchange for agreeing to promote TiVo on social media this month. They also got a prepaid debit card worth $404 representing Atlanta’s area code and the company's streaming device. As part of the partnership, TiVo provided the school an upgrade to its audio/visual equipment in some of the team facilities. The total value is more than $100,000, according to reports, which said 90 of the team's players have signed a contract for the endorsement. What this means is that for many college sports teams or players, big or small, deals can be found which will only further advance them. The equipment that Goergia Tech received only made it easier for them to practice, train, and make a bigger name for themselves.
Collegiate sports have remained largely unchanged for many years. For many decades, the NCAA strictly enforced rules against college athletes being paid for endorsements, autographs and the like. Such restrictions were lifted last summer, bringing collegiate sports into a new time period in which athletes can monetize their fame without risking their eligibility.