Getting Ahead of a Changing Industry
We’re just one year away from the passing of the new NIL rule and the effect it’s having on the industry is already starting to show. NIL – name, image, and likeness – gives a college athlete the ability to profit off themselves. Before a year ago, players were prohibited from making money in any way while colleges and networks were making boatloads season after season. Though the NIL rule does not directly affect that market, NCAA officials feared that players would make decisions prioritizing where they could grow the biggest name rather than where they would fit best resulting in the death of small school programs. Contrary to that belief, the money opportunities presented the opposite outcome. At least for this past year, small and mid-tier schools played some of the most competitive athletics we’ve seen in a very long time.
Doug Edert, small school player from St. Peters was able to land not only a hefty brand deal with Buffalo Wild Wings but also start his own clothing brand. He led his 15th seed team to a thrilling and unprecedented run to the elite eight during the 2022 NCAA basketball tournament. Doug will most likely not play at the next level but because of the name he was able to capitalize for himself. Players from all over the country saw Doug and others go from being a no-name to making some serious cash which will undoubtedly lead to some competitive play in years to come. Bottom line is, with this rule, you no longer need to be the next LeBron James to guarantee profiting off athletics. One notable player, however, who did profit from his skill was Quinn Ewers. Quinn was a top ranked high school quarterback who left high school a year early to go to college. As a result, Quinn reportedly made 1.4 million dollars before playing a single snap. Another case is the Thompson twins, Ausar and Amen, that came out of Pinecrest in South Florida. These top-of-the-line athletes had offers from all over the place. All throughout high school they took advantage of social media by posting endless clips of their skill. These two NBA prospects decided to skip college, realizing they don’t need an education, and accepted an offer to play for the Overtime Elite league. The two would be seniors are now making over $100,000 a season and are both looking to be top 10 picks in next year’s drafts. Arguably the greatest example of pure social media success, however, would be Adrien Nunez and Carson Roney. The two college athletes have been dating for a few years now and have gained a serious following through Tik Tok. The two have a combined 8 million Tik Tok followers with a strong following on Instagram and YouTube. Though almost all their content is sports related neither of them are the stars on the court. Adrien was a bench player during his time at Michigan and Carson was a role player at a no name school. They took advantage of social media and the NIL rule and locked up some serious brand deals during their time at school resulting in lots of money.
As presented, there’s a multitude of ways to benefit from this new rule; it just depends how you go about it and what you want to be. Big school, small school, or no school, best player or not, there’s money on the table for everyone. That’s where we come in. Here at BrandStar we specialize in growing social presence and connecting people with the right brands. Though our sports branch opened recently, we already have more than we need to help any athlete grow their brand. Every client who comes our way, sports or not, starts with a brainstorming session in which we learn what the client wants and create a plan to get there. From there we get started immediately. Thanks to a state-of-the-art studio and over 300 active employees nothing stops us from getting right to action. Not only do we help with content creation, but we have pre-made relationships with top of line brands so once the success comes, the brand deals follow. As mentioned before, the sports industry is changing in ways no one can predict but partnering with BrandStar gives any player the best chance of being ahead of the game!
By: Andrew Klimek
The Thompson twins battling in the Overtime Elite league
Doug Ebert on Instagram working his brand deal with Buffalo Wild Wings
Adrien Nunez and Carson Roney making Tik Tok content in the Michigan gymnasium