Wednesday was a momentous day for college athletes all across America as the NCAA decided to suspend its rules that prevented student-athletes from profiting off their name, image, and likeness, otherwise referred to as their NIL. Athletes can now make money off of autographs, special partnership deals, appearances, among other things.
Breaking: Every NCAA athlete in the country will be able to make money from endorsements and through a variety of other ventures starting Thursday. pic.twitter.com/Iu3i8Q3p7x
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 30, 2021
Making money had been the hottest topic of discussion for as long as college sports has been around and the NCAA had been pressed often about why they are very strict on protecting the amateur status of college athletes despite their respective schools reaping all of the profits.
Those critical of the NCAA’s stance considered it exploitation as many athletes in the past have fallen victim, mostly because the stipend provided usually does not cover all of a student-athlete’s costs outside of tuition, books, and food.
Examples include former Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor signing tons of memorabilia for a Columbus-based businessman in exchange for $20,000-$40,000 in ‘09-10, as well as 13 UNC football players getting suspended for selling their school-issued shoes from a partnership with Nike/Jordan Brand.
In conjunction with the NCAA announcing the new NIL policy, the University of Miami athletics department announced a NIL program of their own called “Ignite.”
Per UM’s press release:
The University of Miami Athletics Department announced Wednesday that it has launched ‘Ignite’, its Name, Image & Likeness program for all Hurricanes student-athletes.
Ignite is powered by Opendorse, a national leader in athletic brand solutions that provides personal brand development resources and management technology used by more than 40,000 athletes worldwide.
“We’re excited to partner with Opendorse by launching our Ignite program across all of our sports,” Director of Athletics Blake James said. “Our goal at Miami is to Build Champions on and off the field, and a big part of that is providing our student-athletes with a platform like Opendorse to help build their personal brand and take full advantage of Florida’s NIL law, which goes into effect July 1.”
Miami will utilize Opendorse’s entire suite of NIL products — Opendorse Ready™, Social™, and Monitor™ — to support Ignite’s mission to prepare student-athletes for success in college athletics with the market’s best resources. Together, the products will empower Hurricanes student-athletes to build, protect and maximize their personal brands with the industry’s leading education, marketing, and compliance technology.
The statement also notes that Miami’s student-athletes may use Miami Athletics-related marks and logos by coming to agreements with approved University licensees and/or sponsors.
With the launch of Ignite, it seems as if Miami was preparing for when the opportunity for their athletes to promote and profit off of their likeness came about.
When Florida governor Ron DeSantis initially signed the bill last year to allow student-athletes in the state of Florida to profit of their name, image, and likeness, all seven major schools in the state seemed to be at an advantage when it was supposed to go into effect July 1st of 2022.
It was a pushed back date from the original choice of Wednesday when the bill was originally drafted.
But now, it seems the NCAA relented to not only give a more level playing-field to all schools but also to subside the criticism received from the last few decades.
Players would also get a head start on establishing themselves as a brand, doing things such as having their own signature logo, selling merchandise, etc.
Miami QB D'Eriq King now has FOUR sponsorship deals in the first 13 hours of legal NIL monetization:
🔸 College Hunks Moving Company
🔸 The Wharf
🔸 Murphy Auto Group
🔸 Dreamfield pic.twitter.com/BftXV1ISXS
— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 1, 2021
D’Eriq King is taking full advantage of the new NIL regulations as it was revealed that the Miami QB had signed a total of four sponsorship deals: College Hunks Moving Company, Murphy Auto Group, and Dreamfield, in addition to The Wharf.
King is also rumored to be working on a podcast with Canes walk-on LB and fellow Houston-native Ryan Ragone.
“The University of Miami has done a great job with us teaching us everything that we can know before this moment came,” King said on Thursday at a celebration at The Wharf Miami.
“For the past 8 weeks we’ve literally had meetings every single week about this…When 12:01 hit, it was fair game.”
Although College Hunks and Murphy Auto Group are both Tampa-based companies, the former was actually started by former University of Miami students, which explains the deal and the company’s colors, which are orange and green.
S Bubba Bolden also signed a similar deal with College Hunks Moving Company as well as Murphy Auto Group.
In addition to King and Bolden, three players gained partnerships:
- WR Mike Harley signed a deal with Positivity Alkaline Water.
- CB Te-Cory Couch signed a deal with Yoke Gaming, which gives people a chance to “play video games with your favorite athlete.”
- CB Marcus Clarke signed a deal with JT Sports Visuals (@jtsportsvisuals on Twitter).
We should expect to hear about more and more college athletes getting deals with companies in the coming days, especially with Miami because of the market size.
Just a reminder, we just finished up recording a new episode of The Sixth Ring, where we recapped Paradise Camp and touched on the NIL regulations and the impact it can have going forward.
WE ARE LIVE!!!https://t.co/CQZgSJ99k8
— The Sixth Ring Canes Show on 5 Reasons Sports (@SixthRingCanes) July 1, 2021
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