• Sivonnia DeBarros, Esq.

NAME. IMAGE. LIKENESS. THE BUSINESS OF IT ALL!

Updated: Jul 27


Are you a current or potential college athlete? Now is the time to understand the importance and business around the new wave of the NAME, IMAGE AND LIKENESS (NIL) movement.


For years, promising prospective professional athletes have been engaged in under-the-table deals with agents who promised to pay top performing athletes cash or gifts to stick with them when they become pro. With that was the risk of losing NCAA eligibility.


If a student-athlete loses their eligibility, this would make it harder for the athlete to become pro because they would not have the ability to play at the collegiate level which means, no pro-team would see their skills; thus, offer a playing contract. Just like that, pro-sports dreams are over.


California:

In 2019, California was the first state to implement a new bill which would allow college student-athletes in that state to control and to profit from their name, image, and likeness. There was no limit on what the student-athlete could receive. The only thing is that it couldn't be in direct conflict with any of the school's sponsorship deals. The bill is to take full effect in 2023.


Florida.

Now, this year, Florida becomes the second state to implement a bill, but the first state to make it law IMMEDIATELY for college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. As a response to Florida's swift movement, the NCAA has been engaged in amending it's rules that prohibit student-athletes in accepting money, gifts and the like while playing.


What does all of this mean for the college athlete?


1. This a great BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY!

When you have a business opportunity, you must carry yourself as a business person. Although this concept of business may feel foreign to a college athlete, they were in business from the moment they chose to play sports and hopefully earn a scholarship. They literally were paid for their performance. Think about it.


Now, they can earn more! It's necessary to start thinking more about the person - holistically - and how you can build your name from the college level.


2. Start thinking about the BRAND!

As a college athlete, a brand was created as soon as you accepted a scholarship to compete at the college level. If you want to become a more recognizable, and potential household brand name, you can do that with brand endorsements. But be mindful that a large and recognizable brand WILL NOT do business with you if you have the potential to sully their name.


3. Identify team players to help you create a solid business foundation.

I talk extensively in What Are You Sporting About? to educate athletes on the importance of having the right team for their business. Now you're in this space. If you don't hire anyone else, definitely make sure you have a lawyer and financial advisor. Starting off, these two players are most important in setting you on the track to success.


Don't get left behind! Let's maximize this opportunity for long-term success and growth! Call us to schedule your consult and help you navigate the legal issues around your brand and deals because we want to ensure you know what you're sporting about.


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This article is a service of SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC & What Are You Sporting About? Podcast. We offer a wide array of business services and can help you make the wisest business choices. We also offer a Business Protection Start-Up Session or a Business Audit for an ongoing business. Call us today to schedule.

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