The name, image and likeness, better known as NIL, will open up a whole new world of college sports starting in July. With athletes now able to receive payments from advertisers, companies and products, this could change the landscape of varsity athletics for good.
Especially college football.
Priority will now be placed on accessing the best sponsorship dollars available on the open market, which could produce the return of some of the sport’s blueblood programs.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia have a stranglehold on the best talent in the sport today, but it hasn’t always been that way. Several programs nationwide have reached similar heights, but in recent years they have stalled.
Schools like Texas, Michigan, USC, and Miami have all the resources to build talent rosters, but have consistently underperformed over the past decade.
The NIL shifts the balance of power in favor of these programs. Plus, it brings a competitive advantage that could propel some of college football’s most prestigious schools to the forefront of the sport. Here’s why.
Very high net worth individuals. These are people with a net worth north of $ 30 million. And believe it or not, the educational backgrounds of much of these people are not distributed evenly across the university system in this country.
In fact, they are grouped into a small group of schools. Schools like Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and MIT. However, there are some public universities that have a huge pool of wealth that were once very good at football.
- Miami – 1,700 alumni considered to be very wealthy individuals. Also on the way to becoming the cryptocurrency capital of the world.
- Michigan – 1,970 UHNW alumni, including Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
- Texas – Five billionaire graduates, including the owner of Dell.
- USC – 2,645 very wealthy alumni and their own film studio.
Not only do these schools have top alumni, but with wealthy individuals they become marketable business owners, businesses that need faces.
So it’s not absurd to think that these alumni could make a varsity athlete the face of their business if they play for their alma mater. In fact, it is rather plausible.
Take Georgia for example. Onward Reserve is a clothing and apparel company based in Athens, Georgia, and its founder is a proud UGA graduate. Onward Reserve recently signed five Georgian athletes for marketing deals, including first-year quarterback Brock Vandagriff.
The NIL is already starting to become a recruiting factor. Defensive end Mykell Williams signed up to USC this weekend during an official visit. According to reports, Williams was blown away by the NIL opportunities available to him at USC.
Schools like Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia will need to find a way to follow the recruiting route. Unfortunately, while they may offer national title chances and elite development, they don’t have as deep an alumni network as some of these other prestigious programs.
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