Augusta University experts talk the business of sports: Name, image and likeness deals start to reshape college athletics

Augusta University experts talk the business of sports: Name, image and likeness deals start to reshape college athletics

February 3, 20222 min read

The landscape of college athletics has changed greatly in the past year. For the first time ever, student athletes can now profit from the use their name, image and likeness.

It’s been a hot topic subject for years, and now it’s come to fruition. Dr. David Hunt is an associate professor at Augusta University’s Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and also the faculty athletics representative at AU.

“It’s different for Division I and for Division II. For DI, there’s bigger audiences and they have bigger followings. But it isn’t D1, D2 and D3 specific; it just seems like people are willing to put more money into programs at the D1 level,” said Hunt.

While some may think NIL deals go to the most popular athletes, that’s not always the case.

“There are a lot of NIL opportunities for people who don’t have a huge number of followers, because it tends to hit a particular niche,” added Hunt.

It’s not just the notoriety on the court or playing field that can garner an NIL deal, but also a player's social media activity and number of followers. These can be a big tool for student athletes receiving compensation for outside business ventures.

“It can be cash or it can be in-kind payments. So for some influencers, companies just send them stuff in an effort to get them wearing it on their social media channels.”

Some schools and athletic programs have already negotiated deals for an entire team where all the players can benefit from it, but Hunt said it could lead to legal questions over potential conflict of interest deals.

“If a basketball program gets a NIL deal for the whole program with Adidas, can an individual player wear Under Armour? Can an athletic department even do that? It can be helpful and beneficial and monetarily advantageous for those students, but it’s not the students doing that,” said Hunt.

All the NIL deals, especially those where schools negotiated them, can be used as a recruiting tool to entice athletes to come play for their program. This could create a recruiting advantage for some states over other states.

“One university received NIL deals for every single female athlete. That is a huge advantage compared to other universities. So now some universities can recruit students based on the NIL opportunities and if the university has a support program for it, they can say we have a structure in place that you can take advantage of.”

This is an important and emerging topic happening in schools and athletic programs across America, and if you’re a journalist looking to know more, then let us help with your questions and coverage.

Dr. David Hunt is available to speak with media regarding student athletes now being able to profit from their name, image and likeness – simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

Connect with:
  • David Hunt, PhD
    David Hunt, PhD Associate Professor, Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

    Dr. David Hunt researches education, school transformation and teaches courses in sociology, education, religion, and social stratification.

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