If you are a college athlete, you have a right to maintain complete control over how companies use your branding within their digital and physical products. When companies use your name, image, or likeness to promote their products or increase engagement, you may be able to receive payment for your contribution.

These policies also apply to digital avatar licensing, including how video game companies portray college athletes in their games. If a digital avatar company wants to include your image or branding within a virtual experience, it needs your explicit permission and should provide payment.

At Coach NIL, we’ve helped numerous clients navigate digital avatar licensing opportunities and disputes. We’d be happy to provide our knowledgeable legal services to walk you through your exclusive rights in the digital landscape.

Video Games and NIL Statutes

Sports-centered video games have been popular for many years. These games allow individuals to play virtual sports and use famous athletes as active players. For example, the video game company EA Sports plans to release a new College Football game in the coming years, featuring big names in college football.

Recently, the NCAA began permitting athletes to participate in monetized name, image, and likeness (NIL) opportunities to earn money outside of their universities. As a result, college athletes can begin making money for their appearances in video games and other virtual experiences.

These NIL statutes also provide essential protections for athletes, ensuring that they receive adequate compensation when companies use their images and personal branding in video games. If you’re a college athlete, remaining aware of your rights under NIL statutes is essential to maximizing your financial opportunities and protecting your image.

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Potential Complexities in Digital Avatar Licensing

Video game companies need to tread carefully to ensure that their digital avatars of athletes are NIL compliant. Name, image, and likeness laws require companies to uphold the following requirements throughout their video game production:

  • Receive explicit permission from athletes before using their NIL in a digital experience
  • Uphold and protect athletes’ rights throughout the digital experience
  • Provide adequate compensation for the use of the athlete’s NIL

At the same time, athletes need to ensure that they tread carefully when allowing video game companies to use their images. If you’re an athlete, you’ll need to ensure that your NIL opportunity:

  • Pays you a “fair market value” for your contribution, i.e., not providing outrageously high payment
  • Follows your school’s specific NIL guidelines
  • Upholds your image and reputation
  • Follows all compliance guidelines

While taking advantage of digital avatar licensing opportunities can be highly beneficial, you must ensure that your participation is compliant. If not, you could put your athletic career at risk.


If you are a college athlete, having a professional legal team on your side can help you effectively navigate NIL compliance and digital avatar licensing. At Coach NIL, we can:

  • Help you identify digital avatar licensing opportunities
  • Negotiate digital avatar licensing agreements to increase your compensation
  • Ensure your compliance with your school’s NIL policies throughout digital NIL opportunities
  • Help you claim compensation for appearances in video games

Contact our Coach NIL team today at (312) 668-7885 to schedule your free consultation.




Whether you are a student-athlete looking to capitalize on your NIL or your business is looking to engage student-athletes to promote your goods and/or services, consider consulting with a licensed attorney to ensure you have a clear understanding of all your obligations and rights under applicable federal and state laws.

Why choose us


  • Compliance & Reporting

    We cover our athletes’ compliance, reporting, and disclosing requirements to protect their legal interests and athletic eligibility.

  • Contract Drafting

    If you have an NIL deal, no matter how small, get it in writing. Our firm drafts contracts on behalf of athletes with their interests in mind to protect them in NIL deals.

  • Entity Creation

    We help athletes start businesses, form charities and ensure they are protected from personal liability.

  • Risk Management

    Our firm works to protects college athletes from recruitment until college graduation.

  • Scholarship Review

    We ensure our clients’ interests are protected within their universities. Review your scholarship documents with the help of a sports attorney.

  • Trust Accounting

    We serve athletes and their families to prepare for paying taxes, establish budgets, and plan for life after college.

Contact us to discuss your needs and how we can help. Get Free Consultation

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To do right by the athletes and help them shine while allowing them to focus on the classroom and the arena.

  • Let’s Talk

    Need to speak to someone about your NIL needs? We’re here to help.

  • Consultation

    We will keep you advised of the commercial and reputational risks associated to any of the options available to you.

  • On Your Side

    If however it is required, we will be ready to fight your corner every step of the way.