The recent passing of the name, image, and likeness bill for college athletes has created a whirlwind of new opportunities for both players and companies, as the Supreme Court’s ruling will now allow collegiate athletes to make a profit through promotions and sponsors. Athletes (including myself) have spent these past few days researching the best ways to promote themselves. While this is obviously a huge time for the players themselves, it is provided a new moneymaking avenue for companies, as some have been looking to establish themselves as a sort of middleman between athletes and potential sponsors.
The most popular marketing companies that have been making recent headlines in this field so far are Opendorse, MatchPoint and Dreamfield, as well as a few others. These apps allow businesses and athletes to create a profile and match for future deals. MatchPoint has been the most popular recently with Northwestern, as players from the football, soccer and softball team have all signed up. Think like a dating app for business where athletes are trying to sell themselves to the companies based on the number of social media followers they have.
“Now that these NIL restrictions have been lifted, it is truly an amazing time to be a student-athlete. The opportunities big and small are truly endless. I think MatchPoint is one of the few platforms, if not the only, that is really working to give all athletes the opportunity to capitalize on their influence,” Matchpoint CFO and Northwestern Alum Zack Oliver told Inside NU.
MatchPoint stands out amongst its competitors by allowing two-way communication. The majority of the apps allow athletes to design a set going rate they believe they are worth and then businesses have to seek out the athletes. MatchPoint offers athletes an opportunity to reach out directly to the companies they want, and to create personalized offers to the specific company they are trying to connect with.
Once you are on the app, you can search for the company to which you want to send a pitch. The pitches allow you to select which social promotions you plan on using such as Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. You then select the promotions you are offering to do for the company, which includes digital advertising, merchandise collaboration, print advertising, product promotion, promotional events, radio advertising, speaking engagement, sponsoring a clubhouse and television advertising. After you select the promotions, you insert the price you believe it is worth and send the offer. From there the company is able to accept, decline, or negotiate. While MatchPoint is relatively brand new, they have hit the ground running and are increasing their number of athletes on the app at a rapid pace.
“It’s only been a few days and a holiday weekend, but MatchPoint was the platform for the first official deal of NIL. As far as Northwestern athletes go, there have been 5 or 6 deals cemented so far with a few more in process as well. Baton Rouge and Evanston are the first two markets where we are really trying to win. We want to give back to the communities that made us and use that as a recipe for the rest of America,” said Oliver.
The life of college athletes will never be the same again as many of them add brand and business management on top of the athletic and academic commitments they already hold. Less than a week into the legislation, the benefits and opportunities athletes hold going forward appear to be limitless.