Name, image, and likeness branding is slowly coming to college sports and it's going to change recruiting forever.
Above we can see a list that comes to us via Axios.
This is a selected sample of just 12 athletes.
I spoke with Blake Lawrence, CEO of Opendorse — a social publishing platform that helps athletes build their brands — to get a better understanding of the landscape, and requested earnings estimates for a sample of 12 student athletes (see above).
The data collection method:
The estimates are "based on actual data from the last decade of providing the technology behind millions of dollars of transactions between brands and professional athletes," according to Lawrence, and they fluctuate based on factors like school, social presence, and athletic success/name recognition.
As you can see that Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields are not mentioned in the list above. Thankfully, 538 did a recent article on this exact topic.
We knew that college football and basketball players were going to be worth a lot of money. It's not shocking, but I think it's forgotten how big of an effect this could have a women's sports. As we can see Paige Bueckers, who is currently in high school, could make over 670k a year. Her 502k followers doesn't even account for her 140k followers on TikTok.
TikTok will only continue to grow and players with large followings coming into college will profit. Take Haley Cruse for example:
She has over 430k followers on TikTok and 185k on Instagram:
For schools to cash in on this from a recruiting perspective, they will have to create new divisions within their athletic department. Helping student-athletes to grow their social following will be a game-changer, along with a branding department that makes sure that every athlete is following the rules. You'll have to help them with their taxes as well.
Name, image, and likeness rules should've been apart of college sports for a long time. It's a good step forward for the NCAA, I'm just hoping they don't mess it up.