Recently, the NCAA clarified its rules on when and how “Booster” organizations—non-student groups promoting student athletes for license deals—can and cannot reach out to student athletes. At a high level, these organizations are not allowed to reach out to students being recruited by colleges.
But the rule clarification focuses a spotlight on these organizations and how they operate. Some, like NIL-Auburn LLC, allow athletes to create content that is distributed to subscription members of the collective. Others, like NIL Management (The Ohio State University), operate more or less like brokers to match student athletes with businesses looking for paid endorsers.
What’s the common thread?
It should come as no surprise that most of these booster organizations are designed to make money off of your name, image, and likeness as a student athlete. If you’re not already rolling your eyes and thinking “I’ve heard this story before” well you should be. Large organizations making bank off of your hard work as a student athlete is the whole reason the NCAA was sued and ultimately agreed to let you monetize your name/image/likeness in the first place.
Is there a place for these booster organizations?
Yes, of course. As a student athlete you probably don’t have time or the expertise needed to market yourself as an individual student athlete, or to negotiate endorsement deal opportunities.
And yes, you will likely get paid . . . at least a bit.
But before you agree to work with one of these booster organizations, you should first fully understand how much of the endorsement money the organization will keep out of each deal involving your name/image/likeness.
What are the other risks of booster organizations?
Each booster organization—and potentially each endorsement deal—may have different terms for how much control you have after you leave the school (draft, graduation, transfer, etc.) In some cases, you may only get paid once while the endorsement content continues to make money for the booster long after you move on to other opportunities.
Also, booster organizations aren’t lawyers or law firms. They don’t have to have your best interests in mind. Instead, you’ll be signing a contract with them, and that puts you in an adversarial relationship with booster organizations from day one.
How can I better control use of my name, image, and likeness?
One way to increase how much control you have over a booster organization’s use of your name, image, and likeness (NIL) is to obtain protection for your name, image, and likeness before you enter into any agreements for group endorsements through your school or through a booster organization.
We can help you with that. And unlike booster organizations, your athletic department, or your university, we are lawyers whose only task is to help you obtain that protection and own it yourself. We aren’t marketers; we aren’t boosters. We aren’t collaborating with any school or university, and literally cannot tell anyone about what work we’re doing for you unless you give us the OK first.
We’re more than just lawyers though. We established Coach NIL to help you understand how this new playing field is built and how the referees are monitoring things (or not). We’ve bundled our most popular services together to empower you to understand what your school and its booster organizations are up to so that you can avoid agreeing to an endorsement opportunity that yanks all that control away from you. And each of our bundles is designed to be affordable for students—low down payment, low monthly payment, no interest. All of this because we care about you getting what the NCAA says it wants for you: fair compensation for use of your name, image, and likeness.
Don’t let your school or its booster organizations take advantage of you. Fill out our easy, no-obligation intake form today to find out more.
About Coach NIL™
Coach NIL™ is a law firm based near Chicago, Illinois. Intellectual property attorney Randy Micheletti founded Coach NIL after watching the college athletics industry do what it does best:(continue) taking advantage of student athletes even after the NCAA’s student endorsement rule change in the summer of 2021. Coach NIL provides “just what you need” strategies to help student athletes and their families protect the value associated with their names, images, and likenesses, all at affordable rates and convenient payment plans.