Endorsement Deal for Oregon High Schoolers – What It Means
Two high schoolers made Oregon history this week by becoming the first student athletes in the state to sign NIL deals.
Sofia Bell of Jesuit High School, and Jackson Shelstad of West Linn High School signed deals with Portland Gear. And they're not just modeling the merch or endorsing a particular product. You can actually buy jerseys with their names.
What is NIL?
NIL Stands for name, image and likeness.
What Does NIL Mean for High School Athletes?
NIL means that high-school athletes can profit from their name, image and likeness, and the brand they are building, in states like Oregon. But NOT in states like Washington. More on which states allow NIL here.
How Long Has NIL Been Around?
NIL was introduced for college and high-school athletes in 2021.
Are There Any Restrictions to NIL?
"Students may not use school branding in any commercials, products or services," reports Scorebook Live.
What is an Example of a NIL Deal?
How Much Do NIL Student Athletes Make?
According to Athletic Director U, "from a licensing standpoint, the annual NIL value per student-athlete could range from $1,000 – $10,000."
They were talking about college athletes, but your mind will be blown when you see the high-school football player valuations from ON3 here.
Why Don't More High School Athletes Sign NIL Deals?
Remember when Lebron James was a high-school athlete, and the pros were already eyeballing him? That's the kind of talent NIL partners are looking for. Well, that and a large social media following.
Just as with "influencers," companies are looking for someone that has already built their own brand - a brand that aligns with the company's image.
Is NIL Good for Teen Athletes?
Once upon a time making the team guaranteed a level of popularity at school, and star athletes would, of course, have their pick of who they could date. That was the goal, and that was enough.
Now one can imagine a scenario where, between games, practices, and business - they don't have time to date the cheerleader or quarterback.
Will NIL deals foster resentment? Undoubtedly. Both from fellow students, and perhaps from underpaid teachers. Life isn't fair.
Some worry that the life lessons associated with high school sports - commitment, teamwork, integrity - will be lost.
But if the goal of education is to prepare students for the real world, what's more real than learning how to make and handle money?