It has been about a month since the NCAA approved its' most player beneficial deal in the history of college athletics. The Name, Image, and Likeness approval gives college athletes the ability to gain some financial benefit from companies using their specific name, their image, or player likeness. This deal is a huge opportunity for college athletes in states that allow it to gain financial freedom that they would not have been able to get in the past. The question becomes, how big can the deals get?
When you are looking at how big the deals can get, you have to start with Hercy Miller who is an incoming freshman headed to Tennessee State to play basketball. The son of hip-hop artist Master P, signed a hefty four year ambassador deal with Web Apps America a technology company worth two million dollars. One of the headlining aspects of this deal is the commitment that Web Apps wants to show to Historically Black College and Universities, according to Forbes. Miller was interviewed by the Nashville Tennessean and had this to say.
"It was time to change players making a name for a school and not being rewarded. Players should be rewarded for their hard work."
With Miller setting the standard for deals, look for more players to take advantage of the opportunities that are sure to come their way.
Another interesting NIL deal is with the University of Miami's Quarterback D'Eriq King. King wasted no time finding ways to gain exposure and financial benefit from his NIL. In the first 24 hours of the NIL era, King signed four sponsorship deals with College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving, Murphy Auto Group, The Wharf, and Dreamfield. King had this statement to ESPN regarding his deal with Dreamfield.
“We are entering a new era of technology that allows sports trading cards to move from the physical realm to the digital one, and I am proud to be on the forefront of this change, being one of the first college athletes in history to have a high-quality NFT created in my likeness is a dream come true, and to help other athletes be memorialized in digital art through Dreamfield is a big reason why I helped create this company.”
King has voiced that he is looking to bring his teammates along for the ride. While many people think the NIL laws are only there to benefit the individual, D'Eriq King is showing that the money and exposure gained can be used to help out his teammates as well.
Lastly, one of the fastest growing sports companies in the world Barstool Sports has jumped right into the NIL deal arena.
Barstool sports wasted no time signing college athletes to deals. David Portnoy, the President of Barstool Sports told Golfweek on July 3rd, he received
"literally 75,000 or so applications we are going through."
The first of many names that signed with Barstool Sports are, Adelaide Halverson (Jacksonville State, Volleyball), Zach Buckey (Stanford, Football), EJ Andrews Jr (Fresno State, Baseball), Sydney Parrish (Oregon, Basketball), and a Division 3 Athlete Andrew Diaz (Massachusetts Maritime, Football).
While the monetary value of these deals is not disclosed, one can only assume with the popularity of Barstool Sports that any athlete who signs with the online content powerhouse will be well compensated for their popularity on social media and in person.
All in all, the Name, Image, and Likeness era in college sports is off to a hot start. Obviously there are going to be loopholes and loose ends that the NCAA, their universities, and the athletes will work out as the months and years continue on. As the Fall college sports season quickly approaches, one can only assume that what we see now is just the beginning as athletes continue to rake in the dough. Name, Image, and Likeness deal or no deal? Deal!