Inside the NCAA's rules for student-athletes monetizing their brand - Business Insider

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11/27/2020 4:14:00 PM

NCAA student-athletes are months away from being able to profit off their brand. Here are all the ways businesses, agents, and advertisers can — and can't — work with them.

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for a series of rule changes that would allow student-athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness (NIL) for the first time.The NCAA is working to create a set of rules that will govern the exact ways student-athletes are and are not allowed to profit off of their personal brands.

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The three divisions of the NCAA must finalize and vote on these new rules by Jan. 31, 2021.Almost overnight, these young people will become student-athlete-entrepreneurs, with all the support and sponsorship dollars that businesses, agencies, and brands typically provide.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.For decades, the college athletics landscape has been a financial windfall for just about everyone — except the athletes.While universities and their affiliated partners have madebillionsoff the labor and likeness of athletes, student-athletes, in exchange, have only received scholarships.

Now, those student-athletes stand primed to cash in on their brand value for the first time in history.In a 31-page documentpublished on the NCAA website, an advisory group established by the NCAA has laid out its recommendations for legislation that would allow student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights beginning in 2021.

Once the legislation is voted on, which must happen before January 31, the new rules will mark a sea change in the world of college athletics: The NCAA will effectively create a brand-new entrepreneurial ecosystem, as thousands of student-athletes will gain the newfound opportunity to profit off their reach and reputation, with all the support and sponsorship dollars that businesses, agencies, and brands typically provide.

The NCAA advisory group briefing includes three critical sections: general guidelines for the new rules, suggestions for how student-athletes can monetize their NIL, and how they cannot. Business Insider has summarized the guidelines' most important components below. 

The NCAA's 'guardrails' for how student-athletes can make money:NIL activities should not distract students from school or athletics. Schools cannot pay student-athletes or use NIL payment as a form of compensation. Schools should not play a role in arranging student-athletes' NIL deals or activities.

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Student-athletes cannot use the logos, jerseys, facilities, trademarked material, or other "intellectual property" that belongs to the universities. Schools and boosters cannot use NIL activities to entice prospective recruits to attend their university.

Student-athletes can use agents, but those relationships must be regulated. The entity responsible for that regulation has not been named.Student-athletes' NIL activities cannot interfere with schools' efforts in the areas of diversity, inclusion, or gender equity.

What student-athletescando:Promote private lessons and business activities, and operate their own camps and clinics, as long as they do not use school marks.Endorse products, as long as they do not use any school marks or reveal the school they attend. They are allowed only to refer to "their involvement in intercollegiate athletics generally."

Be compensated for autograph sessions, as long as the sessions don't occur during an institution event or competition and no school marks or apparel is used.Solicit funds through crowdfunding, such as GoFundMe, for nonprofits or charities, catastrophic events, family hardships, and educational experiences, such as internships.

Enter deals with agents only for (1) advice on NIL ventures, (2) assistance in contract negotiations, and (3) marketing of NIL ventures. Student-athletes must disclose all NIL ventures, relationships, and contracts with agents to their schools and a third-party administrator to be named.

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