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Colleges now want to manage the career of student athletes’ influencers
Oh, how quickly we can change our tune when a new stream of profitability presents itself.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced last week that it will temporarily allow student-athletes to take sponsorship deals and make money on their own photos and the like. The NCAA will work with Congress in the meantime to develop new official policies at the national level. Until recently, athletes were prevented from earning extra income while in school to maintain a certain amateur sanctuary in college sports ̵
Last year I wrote about how student-athletes were some of the first influential. Many of the influencer business models we see today depend on how effective an influencer is as a brand ambassador. Student-athletes are incredibly good brand ambassadors for universities, but they have never been compensated for it. (In the September 2020 newsletter, I wrote: “These new influencer models make it difficult to ignore the degrading ways in which some students are treated. And it may be time to finally ask ourselves why. If your answer is: ‘For that’s what’s written in the NCAA Rulebook and how things are always done, ‘maybe it’s time to change some policies.’)
It seems that the Supreme Court is subscribing to Please like me! Just for fun. But of course I’m glad to hear about these new policies. They are long overdue.
Almost immediately – in some cases the next day – official college accounts and their representatives began to tweet about the news and how they planned to make money. “The future of college athletes earning potential starts today!” said @DanHartleb, head coach of the University of Illinois baseball team. LSU quickly packaged this promo video to get future student-athletes hyped about their future earning potential.
The University of Texas football team took the opportunity to promote its “Leverage” program, which was created in anticipation of the changes to the NIL (“Name, Image, Likeness”) policy to work with UT student-athletes to build their personal brands. .
“There’s no better place to build your personal brand than the city of Austin and the University of Texas,” said women’s soccer coach Angela Kelly in an advertising tweet for the program.
Solving the NIL rules is a step in the right direction. But the sudden change of tone for colleges is jarring, given how supportive most colleges with powerful athletic programs have been around NCAA restrictions for their players in the past.
“No better place to build your personal brand than [UT Austin]”?? That is emphatically untrue. Until last week’s Supreme Court ruling, there were a myriad of better places for young people to build their personal brands than UT Austin. It is right now that the rules have changed and schools want to retain as much of the branding and earnings potential of their players as possible. They went from saying “rules are rules” to “let’s help you make money!”
I reached out to UT Austin about this marketing push.
I am very excited about their motives because I once again do not believe that these colleges have the best interests of their athletes. But it’s America and how we run our education sectors as companies first.
Companies are also running amok with signing student-athletes recently. Degree Deodorant has pledged $ 5 million to student-athlete campaigns and announced in a press release sent to BuzzFeed News that they have already inked offers for 14 students across the country. Cameo also sent us an email saying it expects to bring a list of young talent to its platform.
If money were the only substitute for decades for an unfair policy, I might feel more optimistic about these sudden changes. But the turn in the other direction is so dramatic that I obey it all with some caution, and I hope student-athletes do too.
If you are a young person who wants to take advantage of new NIL authentication options, get your money – you deserve it now that it’s finally legal. But given the legacy of NCAA policies and who they have ultimately earned, I would be a little wary of the language that some schools are now using to harness your earning potential.
Does TikTok have the star power to take on Cameo?
TikTok makes a game for Cameo’s proven formula with its new Shoutouts feature, and to be honest, it’s a smart move.
Cameo made its name by offering us mere farmers access to top celebs for a hell of a lot less than it usually costs. For a paltry $ 100 I could book Sisqó to wish myself a pleasant tanga day. The company is now valued at $ 1 billion, so of course TikTok will enter the market.
While Cameo also has a number of well-known TikTokers on its list, Shoutouts cuts the gap so you can request your videos on the same platform as you watch content. But the addition of Shoutouts also highlights something that TikTok has tapped into so well – social media can make anyone famous.
Cameo tends to fluctuate for well-known American celebs, but Shoutouts seems to let almost anyone with a decent following get into it, based on the test it does in Turkey. This means that niche influencers who have small but loyal followers and are never chosen by Cameo can potentially make money. It’s also a great way for creators who are not part of TikTok’s revenue program that they can finally make money without having to be huge on the platform.
The question of big money is whether A-listers will buy into it. TikTok’s user base used to be mostly teenagers, but now in addition to created-on-TikTok stars like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, there are now also actors and musicians. participates as Ryan Reynolds and Britney Spears (#FreeBritney !!).
So far, it seems unlikely that agents and managers will add another piece but time-consuming source of revenue to their customers. Cameo also now offers live video chat, to which TikTok has not yet responded. But never say never.