July 2023

Team Success Plus NIL Deals Equals the Ivy League Equivalent for Student Athletes

In the evolving landscape of college sports, the advent of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rights has brought forth new considerations for student athletes when selecting a college.

Student athletes should prioritize schools based on success relative to the prestige of NIL opportunities, much like how academics focus on the prestige of institutions for economic benefits. For most athletes, their economic value is at its peak during their college years, and unless they transition to professional sports which most won't, this is the only time for many to generate their greatest economic value.

NIL opportunities come in various ways that could impact an athlete for their entire lives, since this is where their unique visibility and economic value allow them to easily expand their networks, obtain financial benefits, and secure brand partnerships. Once athletes graduate, they are now competing with the field, and NIL opportunities vanish, and any missed opportunities have been wasted.

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The the importance of schools that support individual rights to NIL and work in harmony with student athletes, drawing parallels between academic and athletic success cannot be understated. Allow athletics to allow a "skipping of the line" instead of relying on a resume to get you somewhere.

LSU is recently the greatest example of a school that has mastered team success with NIL recognition, having two of college sports' most recognizable athlete influencers in Olivia Dunne and Angel Reese, with the women's basketball team coming off of a national championship that was used to skyrocket Reese's popularity and influence.

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Team success is critical. The highest bidder may not present the most overall value. Only winners are remembered.

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Just as academic institutions are ranked based on their ability to position graduates for success, athletes should assess schools based on their potential to enhance their NIL value. The success of sports teams and the associated media coverage have a significant impact on an athlete's audience and influence. Being part of a successful team and competing in postseason events can amplify an athlete's exposure, reaching national audiences and unlocking greater economic opportunities.

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Athletes should steer clear of schools that prioritize institutional interests over the rights of individual athletes. They can easily operate in harmonious unison.

Similar to how top academic institutions prioritize securing top-paying jobs for their graduates, schools should prioritize landing high-value NIL deals for their athletes. By aligning themselves with schools that understand the economic benefits of individual branding and actively support their athletes' NIL endeavors, athletes can maximize their long-term success both on and off the field.

Just as academics and career services departments collaborate to connect students with top job opportunities, athletes should seek schools that proactively work to increase their NIL value. By providing resources, guidance, and strategic partnerships, schools can position their athletes for lucrative endorsement deals and long-term brand success. Athletes should prioritize schools that are committed to their personal and professional growth, mirroring the approach taken by top academic institutions in securing successful futures for their graduates.

Athletes should adopt a mindset similar to academics, choosing schools based on the prestige of NIL opportunities and the support offered by the institution. By prioritizing schools that prioritize their individual rights, amplify their NIL value, and work collaboratively towards long-term success, athletes can position themselves for a prosperous future both in sports and beyond.

Issa Hall, Esq

Issa is also the founding partner of Hall & Dixon law firm, and brings over a decade of experience in tech and law to the table. Alongside legal expertise, Issa is a certified fitness trainer who combines a passion for science and research with a love for sports and wellness. With a multifaceted background, Issa's expertise spans the realms of law, fitness, sports, and lifestyle, making him a well-rounded professional committed to helping others succeed in various aspects of life.

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