On June 30, 2021, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Senate Bill 381, allowing student athletes in the state of Pennsylvania to receive compensation for the use of their Name, Image, and Likenesses. Bill 381 went into effect July 1, 2021, along several other states’ NIL laws.
Pennsylvania first brought NIL legislation onto the senate floor back in 2019, with the Fair Pay to Play Act. However, it was slightly before its time and has not received much traction until this year, with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of legalizing collegiate use of Name, Image, and Likenesses.
With the advent of this new bill, student-athletes can profit off of their NIL by participating in anything from sponsored social media posts, third-party endorsements, to making personal appearances. However, the Pennsylvania NIL law and each individual Pennsylvania university have their own specifications and restrictions as to how student athletes can take advantage of their NIL.
Like many other states, Pennsylvania has added specifications to their NIL legislation defining the scopes of what an athlete-business partnership can look like and do. College athletes are not allowed to profit off of their NILs from partnerships with businesses involved in adult entertainment, alcohol products, gambling, tobacco and e-ciagrettes, prescription pharmaceuticals, or controlled dangerous substances.
More details of the Pennsylvania NIL law include the requirement that NIL compensation must be for equal market value, and businesses currently making money off of making and selling college team jerseys or video games with athletes in them must now give partial royalties to the athletes whose NILs are used.
Because of the wide range of specifications for each Pennsylvania school, here is a guide for both student athletes looking to connect with an affiliate, as well as businesses looking to endorse student athletes, organized by school.
“We are excited the lawmakers in Pennsylvania passed [a] law to allow our students to explore opportunities involving their name, image, and likeness”, stated Penn State’s athletics department after the NIL legislation passed in the House of Representatives. After Pennsylvania became the 25th state to pass NIL legislation, the school was quick to show its support and enthusiasm for the possibility of exciting new opportunities for its student-athletes.
Icon Source was founded in 2018 by Chase Garrett, former Athlete Marketing Manager at Red Bull, and is now leading the way in helping athletes make the most of their NIL while also partnering with brands to ensure the creation of mutually beneficial relationships between athletes and companies. So if you’re a business asking yourself “How can my company partner with a Penn State athlete?”, look no further than IconSource. Reach out today and let’s start a conversation.
Although schools are not required by the Pennsylvania NIL law to help student-athletes earn compensation, many of them had NIL education programs set up even before legislation was passed. Penn State athletes are able to take advantage of their school’s STATEment program, a program designed to help athletes grow their brands and become entrepreneurs.
Several Nittany Lions have already signed deals with companies. Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith and quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson both signed deals with Yoke, a video game platform that allows fans to play with athletes.
Are you a Penn State athlete looking to partner with a company? Connect with businesses and brands through IconSource, an online marketplace platform that puts all available companies and available deals within your grasp. Contact us today to get started.
Pitt responded with enthusiasm similar to that of Penn State, with their athletic director Healther Lyke stating, “We look forward to helping our student-athletes learn more about this topic and build a transparent relationship with them and their families so we can assist in their efforts or aspirations to maximize compensation and opportunities involving their name, image, and likeness.”
Whatever your goals, Icon Source can help businesses navigate the tricky waters of working with both athletes and their respective universities. So if you’re asking yourself “how can my company partner with Pitt athletes?”, then you’ve come to the right place. Reach out to someone today and we’ll answer any of your questions.
Pitt’s student-athlete-centric program is titled “Forged Here”, and utilizes resources from University of Pittsburgh’s Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program, their Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and their Center for Branding at the Katz Graduate School of Business. Beyond that, Pitt has expanded its relationship with INFLCR, the brand-building platform, to assist Pitt athletes in creating content and staying compliant with the Pennsylvania NIL law.
However, student-athletes already have days full of academics, sports, and studying. NIL is only going to add to that list of responsibilities. With Icon Source, student-athletes can create and manage a profile on a single mobile app—which sends all required reporting data directly to the school, or to the school's desired disclosure software.
And what about taxes? No matter how many deals, large or small, that an athlete completes through Icon Source, they will be provided a single 1099. Most importantly, Icon Source forces brands to use a single, non-editable contract, which protects the students from unforeseen issues. Contact us today if you are interested in partnering with experienced professionals who can help you navigate the complicated waters of NIL.
Temple University has gone above and beyond in their response to the new NIL law. One of the professors at the university conducted research on the impacts of the new NIL rules on the value of student-athletes’ social media profiles. Thilo Kunkel, the director of Temple University’s Sport Industry Research Center, published a paper outlining potential social media benefits for student athletes in the wake of the new state NIL laws.
One finding was particularly interesting.The NCAA has been saying for years that females won’t make anything off their NILs, and have been using it as a reason for decreasing the support of legislation passing. However, Kunkel’s study showed that female athletes have just as much to gain from capitalizing on their NILs as male athletes.
Companies should be jumping at the opportunity to partner with athletes, because if athletes are boosting their social presence thanks to the NIL law, then you have more to gain from working with them. If you are a company interested in collaborating with Temple University athletes, contact us at IconSource today.
Temple University, although very excited for this new “season” of their student-athletes’ lives, has yet to speak of a solid program they are developing to guide young athletes.
That said, if you are a Temple University athlete looking to partner with a brand or a business, contact us at IconSource. By using our platform, you can connect with companies that are open to collaborating with Temple University athletes.
What is so powerful about the NIL law is that it makes it feasible for small businesses to work with lesser-known collegiate athletes instead of only having the option of working with pro players. As Villanova athletes start taking advantage of their NILs, local businesses around the university are expressing their interest in partnering with athletes.
Harry Davis, for example, owns a local Italian ice store near the university. His patrons have included Donte DiVincenzo, and the entire Villanova basketball team after they won the 2018 NCAA title.
As a platform that connects businesses and brands with student athletes, IconSource can help you collaborate with Villanova athletes to maximize your brand exposure.
The university has released its policy and guidelines surrounding Villanova athletes’ use of their NILs. Other than that, the university has not mentioned any educational program or partnership in the works. However, one of their basketball players, Collin Gillespie, has signed with Barstool Sports already.
Villanova has mostly left it in the hands of their athletes to manage their brand and connect with businesses and companies. In order to form partnerships with businesses directly on a safe and secure online platform, athletes should consider utilizing IconSource. We can put you in direct contact with brands that are interested in partnering with you, and you with them.
Student athletes, universities, and companies should pay close attention to the continuing developments in both the state of Pennsylvania NIL law and national laws that may be forthcoming.
Additional legislation will inevitably come up as all parties discern what NIL means for college sports and how businesses and brands can be a part of college athletes capitalizing upon their Name, Image, and Likenesses and collaborate with Pennsylvania student-athletes.
While there remains a variety and inconsistency of laws at the state level, the possibility that Congress may pass federal NIL legislation is also possible. If you’re a student athlete or brand wondering what all this might mean for you, talk to Icon Source to stay up-to-date with the latest news and ahead of the latest trends.