In June 2021, the NCAA announced that it removed restrictions preventing college athletes from benefiting from their personal brand. This was great news for college athletes around the nation, finally able to benefit financially and establish business partnerships based on their name, image, and likeness. At QCM Agency, we work with student athletes to take their personal brand to the next level with social media, public relations, and endorsement deals, and want to help you be a part of it, too!
While it’s obvious how the ability to make these deals is beneficial to athletes, how can it help your business? The answer is simple, and plentiful, in many ways.
If you own or run a business, you understand the importance of making smart and strategic decisions that will help your company reach a goal, or goals, that ultimately boost your company in the long term. Depending on the industry you are in and the player(s) you partner with, making an NIL deal may not directly create added revenue for your business. However, it can always create added value in one way or another.
Student athletes are considered local celebrities of sorts. They easily create buzz, are often out in their communities supporting good causes, and, of course, bring excitement to spectators when they step on the field or court. This level of recognition at such a concentrated level within a town, city or even state, is pretty restricted to student athletes – a big benefit they can bring to the table in partnerships that other public figures can’t. Think about it – in what other situation, or what other people, can command attention on a local level better than a student athlete representing that area college?
This gives them, and ultimately your business in partnership with these athletes, an edge in influencing decisions, from where to buy their sneakers to where to eat or buy their next car.
Outside of influencing decision making, partnering with student athletes provides a great opportunity to support diversity, equity and inclusion as part of your marketing efforts, and overall business goals and core values. Whether providing a partnership to bring greater visibility to women’s sports or bringing more awareness to racial disparities across all sports, these are mutually beneficial opportunities for both you and the athletes you may choose to sponsor.
Furthermore, it is important to recognize that less than 2% of NCAA student athletes go on to play professionally. This means that for the vast majority, graduation is a whole new playing field of job searching, networking and figuring out life after sports.
By establishing strong connections with your local college athletes while they’re in school, you have the chance to not only help them create business connections after college and possibly help them find a path toward their career choice, but also keep a long-term partnership with them, their alma mater, and future collegiate athletes at that school as well.
QCM Agency CEO Marlin Blakeney, who was a Division I football player himself at the University of Kansas, says this type of support would have made all the difference for him upon graduating college.
“I didn’t know anyone when I graduated because I didn’t go pro…having connections with local businesses would have helped tremendously.”
So, what are you waiting for? A partnership with a student athlete can create a lifetime of benefits for both parties, and bring along numerous positive opportunities for your business. Contact QCM Agency today to learn how to get in the game with NIL partnerships!