Much has been made about Name Image and Likeness the past 18 months. From the pro’s to college and now in many states at the High School level all across the United States. So I think it makes sense to share a few pointers to help coaches and parents understand the landscape better an do so with a sports twist.
Education is super critical. Do you understand the rules, the local or state policies and the implications? For coaches/AD’s this is super important to start now and to be that first line of support for student-athletes and parents who being this journey to ensure they are prepared and educated to do things in the right order at the right time.
Focus on why you are a recruit or student-athlete in the first place. School and sports. That should continue to be your focus. If you are not producing in the classroom or on the field, no one will care about you as a brand spokesperson! Keep the priority the priority!
Slow and Steady! Don’t be quick to chase a buck! Doing a mad dash for cash now, could have major implications to your son or daughters future including tax, legal, Pell Grant/FASFA and many more. Please realize that NIL will likely be pretty-messy for a few years while details, process and more come into place. While it’s exciting, please be careful. Ask someone you trust to help you.
Here is a mini #NIL checklist:
*Review your state and school district policies! You HAVE to know the rules before you engage in NIL.
*Start writing down an initial “Business Plan” that states your son or daughters goals, brand vision, timing, how you will manage endorsements and sponsorships, legal and tax planning. When you write this plan and beyond you SHOULD ASK QUESTIONS. Ask them!!! Nothing wrong with asking lots of questions as you enter the NIL space!
*Set up a true business entity, foundation, or corporation. We would recommend you work a CPA to help you set up a business that aligns to your business plan. This can be started at any age, as the benefits could be significant for any student-athlete with a solid plan rooted in common-sense.
*Control your Intellectual Property! Buy your son or daughters personal brand (name) website ASAP. I.e. YourName.Com You want to control this as it’s a way to control there brand long term. If you have a personal brand logo designed already or planning one in the future make sure you have a copyright for it! Clean and scrub all social channels to ensure credibility and to showcase you completely, not just as an athlete. Control your personal brand at all costs! Start posting often on all aspects of your life to create followers even before you start doing NIL deals.
*Personal Brand Vision Statement: Make sure you have planned and aligned what your son or daughter personally want to represent. Are they into fashion, farming, or whatever, then the vision statement should align to that statement? This guide will help you know what you should and shouldn’t do (can help with recruiting honestly). Having this will also align your social activities or endorsements you might them to consider.
*FASFA Planning: Do you understand how NIL deals will impact your the tax/FASFA implications? Have you put money back? Do you realize you will have to disclose your NIL income on your FASFA when applying for financial aid for college?
*Less is more. While its great to chase commercial deals, your son or daughter likely won’t have time to do a bunch of these deals nor actively pursue them, especially balancing school, training, practices, games and whatever is left relative to a social life. Be smart in the early stages of NIL. Remember not every deal is a good deal (short and long term). And please don’t have them tweet out “My DMs are open” …. because honestly just like in life, you should want to be picky with who you do business with!
*Put money back! Hopefully when they do enter into a NIL agreement you do that with a true business plan in mind. If you don’t, please ensure you understand the tax and FASFA implications. Holding some money back on each deal to ensure you are covered from a tax perspective is important. In addition, consider any expenses or tax write offs associated with your new ventures.
*Review EVERYTHING and Be careful with agents. First and foremost, you need to have a contract for every deal you deal. Have someone read the legal terms of these agreements and understand your commitments and deliverables. These could be attorneys, agents or family business friends. These resources can be useful but their are a lot of areas to be eyes wide opened about when considering an agent or marketing representative. If presented with legal documents, make sure you have someone else review it. This could be very damaging very quickly, not to mention the implications on agent selection beyond moving into any professional sports career. Be smart, do your homework!
We hope this check-list helps you as a Administration, Coach, Parent or Student-Athlete. We have programs and offerings to help in each of these areas, so please reach out if we can help or visit http://www.thebedfordagency.com or http://www.recruit-route.com.