Why Educating All Stakeholders Matters
Education is at the core of the Altius Sports Partners mission. We believe in education for all stakeholders who will be impacted by NIL, not just student-athletes. This includes athletic department staff, coaches, and school corporate partners and boosters. NIL rules changes will have wide-ranging and unique impacts for each set of stakeholders, and the more accurate and relevant information available to each group, the better for the entire ecosystem.
Student-athletes will be the most directly impacted when NIL rule changes go live. Navigating a rapidly developing new marketplace will require education on a variety of topics, including personal brand building, the scope of NIL opportunities, financial literacy, and vetting deals and marketing reps. Student-athletes – and those educating them – would be prudent to dig deeper on each topic and consider the broader impacts of NIL. For example, how does a student-athlete’s personal brand affect their voice on social justice and community causes, the companies they align with, and their future athletic or professional careers? Or, how can student-athletes leverage NIL opportunities for career and professional development through entrepreneurship and networking? Providing comprehensive educational resources for all student-athletes on these topics will be critical to help them maximize their individual NIL potential.
Recruiting is one of the hottest topics amid NIL discussions. Therefore, it is vital coaches are educated to effectively recruit for the future NIL environment. Recruits will want to know how they can maximize their NIL opportunities at a given school, and coaches need to understand and communicate the roles that the institution can or cannot play in the process. Coaches need to know what they should and should not be saying about NIL to attract recruits while protecting the program and athletic department and managing a recruit’s expectations.
Beyond recruiting, NIL raises other issues that coaches need to be aware of and prepared for on their teams. For example, NIL may impact locker room dynamics when one player has NIL opportunities that his or her teammates do not. Additionally, student-athletes will face new stressors that may affect their mental wellbeing, such as increased demand on their time management and added pressure from friends and family to make money.
Corporate Partners and Boosters
A concern for many athletics administrators with NIL rules changes rapidly approaching relates to corporate partners of the institution. Corporate partners may seek to engage with student-athletes directly, risking sponsorship dollars shifting away from the athletic department. However, this does not have to be the case. With education, the athletic department and corporate partners can leverage the rules and take creative approaches that both preserve the value of existing relationships and uncover new opportunities, making the pie bigger for all parties.
Similarly, there is concern that NIL developments will shift booster and donor money from supporting school fundraising goals to supporting individual student-athlete deals. Boosters and donors must also be educated on the risk of NIL activity being used as an inadvertent inducement for student-athletes to come to or stay at a particular institution. Athletic departments can consider creative solutions to mitigate these risks while creating opportunities for boosters that will benefit both the department and student-athletes.
Athletic Department Staff
Finally, the athletic department staff – from compliance to external relations to social media and content – will need to be educated on the shifting NIL landscape. As the boots on the ground working directly with student-athletes, coaches, and corporate partners and boosters, you will need to understand the rules and the role you can play. You should be able to manage inbound questions from all parties and offer them resources. You will need to understand the new, complex, and potentially hidden NCAA compliance risks for your coaches, administrators, boosters, and athletes.
The Altius Sports Partners team of subject matter experts is equipped to partner with your athletic department to deliver the highest levels of education to all key stakeholders. From student-athletes and coaches to corporate partners and boosters, Altius provides comprehensive educational solutions to help your athletic department navigate and succeed in the world of NIL.
For more information on how we can partner with your department, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.