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Posted 31 August 2023

Navigating NIL Deals

Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals in 2021 earned approximately $917 million in the first year of officially being available; it is projected around $1.14 billion was secured through NIL contracts in 2022.  About 35% of Division I athletes with NIL deals had a monthly income of $1,012 with the top sports being football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball. Outside of these sports, athletes with NIL deals are below 3%. There are multiple ways to make money with NIL deals including autograph signings and social media post representing a certain brand or company. NIL deals are a great way for student-athletes to have a livable income while participating in sports full time.

How to get an NIL deal

NIL deals are readily available for any college athlete. To get involved, it is important to build your own personal brand through social media to show your value. When companies are looking for NIL athletes, they may look directly at the number of social media followers and overall impact the athlete may have in the representation of their brand. A step you should also take is to secure an agent that will represent you in securing an NIL deal. With the NIL opportunity being newer, there are a lot of agents in the field attempting to swipe up any and all athletes. It is important to find one that is going to represent you in the best way possible. When choosing, don’t jump at the first agent that may offer you money. Take your time choosing the proper agent who will represent you and similar athletes of your caliber.

How to manage income

The average monthly income from NIL deals is $1,012 for Division I athletes, you could make more or less depending on the NIL deals you obtain. Your NIL deal may be used to build your savings or other everyday expenses. When looking at your total income, you may want to seek additional NIL deals or potentially look to getting a part-time job to supplement your income. Ideally, using NIL deals to pay for all your expenses would be the way to go. Another thing to consider when managing your NIL deal is the amount of taxes that will be owed. A suggestion would be to put aside 40% of your NIL deals monthly to put toward taxes.

Overall, when managing your NIL deal, you want to treat it like any other income you make from a job. Look at your expenses and consider your overall income, then subtract your expenses from your income to come up with your budget. Using that budget, you should be able to see if you are in the positive or negative. If you have a positive budget, put some money aside for emergencies. If you have a negative budget work on adjusting your expenses for finding additional ways to make money. NIL’s may not always cover all of your expenses while attending school. Consider your options when NIL deals are presented to you and weigh the options of each choice. Some NIL commitments may not make sense with your full-time sports schedule. Make sure that when choosing your NIL deal you are able to commit to both.