Monetizing College Athletes Through Social Media

May 30, 2023
Today, we live in a world where everything is just a click away — whether it's reading, writing, shopping, or connecting with others. Social media has immense capability; most importantly, its power to enable influencers, brands and organizations to influence the material choices of their massive audiences. Due to this power and potential for large-scale influence, social media has not only become its own business enterprise, but it has taken over as the most lucrative platform for people of all skills, backgrounds and talents to monetize themselves. Throughout the last year, in no industry has this been more prevalent than in the college sports world. In July 2021, The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that athletes could now monetize their names, images, and likeness (NIL). This was a transformative moment for college athletes as well as for brands to create collaborative partnerships, most commonly through social media.

Just like content creators promote other businesses, college athletes do the same, and in return, they earn revenue. Prior to this ruling, college athletes could not monetize their name, image, and likeness, and were never allowed to profit off of their jersey being sold by their university, or their likeness being represented in a video game. College athletes can also make money in different ways. For example, they can make their daily vlogs and share their journey with their audience. They can also give classes to their junior athletes and make money. After the announcement by the NCAA, in an article written by Alan Blinder, he said, "The NCAA agreed to allow college athletes across the country to capitalize off their fame for the first time. They can make endorsement deals by selling their autographs or by their names, images, and likeness." 

Social media played a pivotal role in the times of Covid. On the one hand, many people lost their jobs, while on the other hand, many people started earning money through alternative means. There were twin sisters in America named Haley Cavinder and Hanna Cavinder. They were basketball players, but in the Covid pandemic, they both started making TikTok videos, their daily vlogs, and gained followers. Through these social media platforms, they earned money. 

These twins also got published in several news publications for signing their first deal in NIL history. In a survey, 62% believe that athletes should be able to profit off their name, image and likeness. They should promote businesses like any other content creator and be allowed to make money. These student-athletes do not only study but also present themselves as a brand ambassador. As we can see, many student-athletes promote sportswear from different brands, and in return, they earn revenue. 

For many years, it was a constant debate that student-athletes cannot earn a profit. Although the management recorded significant returns, college athletes did not receive a single penny. Later on, it concluded that the stars of the show would be able to receive their share as well. One thing the student-athletes should be careful about is maintaining and protecting their reputations now that they are publicly representing brands. When an athlete works with a brand, people need to trust the brand because of the athlete.

It has been one year since the NCCA passed the NIL rule, and everything has its pros and cons. The NIL ruling has been extremely valuable for student-athletes, as they can sponsor events and campaigns, and ultimately monetize their identity. They can also start their own merchandise companies and make millions of dollars through social media, including paid posts and sponsored ads. Through this, students can also learn business skills such as budgeting and marketing. Additionally, the NIL ruling does not only benefit the student-athletes, but it also benefits brands of all sizes, small businesses and start-ups across all industries, especially in the entertainment and fashion industry as well.

While considering the monetization of college athletes, it is also important to consider how crucial it is to keep your social media accounts safe, especially if they are generating money. There are a lot of hackers and people with malicious intent who have several ways to steal someone’s social media accounts and manipulate it to extort money from them. When it comes to social media protection, Smip is your best bet.

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