#163: The Parent’s Guide To NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) w/ Joy Harris

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Are you the parent of a young athlete, wondering about the mysterious world of NIL (Name, Image & Likeness)? You’re not alone!

In this blog article, we’re going to dive into the exciting and transformative realm of NIL with the help of Joy Harris, a student athlete advocate and entrepreneur. If you’re like many, NIL might seem like a term reserved for college athletes. However, as we’ll discover, it holds significant promise for athletes of all ages. Joy will unravel the mysteries of NIL, its impact, and how it can be a game-changer in the world of sports and education.

Let’s get started!

A New Perspective: Beyond College Athletics

First things first: What exactly is NIL? NIL stands for Name, Image, and Likeness and it grants student athletes the ability to use their name, image, and likeness for personal gain.

Now, you might be thinking of NIL in the context of college athletes, but Joy points out that it’s actually not just limited to them. NIL presents a lot of opportunities, and it can benefit athletes of all ages – even those in middle school or high school.

Contrary to popular belief, NIL isn’t just for the elite, Division I athletes. It’s actually available to all student athletes, regardless of their ranking, their school, or their division. While there may be some restrictions depending on the state and school regulations, the possibilities are vast. Athletes can engage in brand deals and partnerships, allowing them to generate income and lay the foundation for their future. The doors of opportunity are wide open, allowing athletes to explore and leverage their brand from a young age.

Getting Started: The Joy Harris Approach

Joy Harris is an entrepreneur who believes in making the world of sports more accessible to young athletes. She started by working on strategies to help her own children succeed, even if they weren’t selected for college scholarships. Her journey led her to discover the power of NIL and how it can be a game-changer.

Ultimately, Joy’s mission is to provide resources and information to parents and athletes to help bridge the financial and career gap in the world of sports.

Understanding NIL: The Basics

Now, let’s start with the basics. As mentioned, NIL stands for Name, Image, and Likeness. It allows student athletes to monetize their personal brand, using their name (think jersey names), their image (such as photos), and their likeness (representations of them in various media) for personal gain.

Wondering what a NIL deal looks like for a high school athlete? It can be as straightforward as partnering with a local business, such as a bakery, to promote their products or services. Brands in various industries can also collaborate with student athletes. These partnerships might involve promoting clothing brands, food brands, or other products, often through online channels. NIL offers a wide array of opportunities.

However, the benefits of NIL doesn’t just stop at monetary gain – NIL provides athletes with several advantages:

  • Monetary Gain and College Education Funding

The first and perhaps most apparent benefit is the monetary gain. On average, student-athletes can secure NIL deals worth around $1,584. To put this into perspective, if you secure one deal per month at this average rate, it can accumulate to approximately $19,000, potentially covering a significant portion of your college expenses. The average tuition costs around $20,000, so NIL deals can substantially reduce the financial burden of college tuition, allowing student-athletes to pursue their education without accumulating excessive debt.

  • Graduating Debt-Free

Student-athletes often face demanding schedules, which leaves little time for conventional part-time jobs. But with the flexibility of NIL deals, you can actively participate in branding and endorsements, allowing you to pay for college and graduate debt-free. College can be a transformative experience, and graduating without the burden of financial stress offers a unique advantage in setting your future on the right path.

  • Expanding Your Personal Brand

NIL doesn’t just benefit your current athletic career, but it also serves as a foundation for future endeavors. Recruiters, scouts, and coaches take notice of student-athletes with strong personal brands. Popularity and recognition are essential, as they can lead to recruitment opportunities, increased playing time, and networking for post-athletic career opportunities. By engaging in NIL, you’re not just investing in your athletic journey but also in your future career beyond sports.

The flexibility and opportunities offered by NIL and scholarships are powerful tools that allow you to take control of your destiny. No need to wait for someone to notice your talent; you can actively shape your path to success through your own brand and by seeking scholarship opportunities.

Why Now is the Perfect Time for NIL: Getting Started

While NIL is still relatively new – only two years old – there are already signs of potential changes and adjustments to the landscape. It’s crucial to enter the NIL space while it’s still relatively open and unexplored. The earlier athletes and parents get involved, the more they can benefit from the opportunities it presents.

So, how do you get started?

For athletes and parents looking to get started in the world of NIL, building a personal brand is a crucial step. This authentic brand should reflect the athlete’s personality, interests, and values. Social media is a powerful tool for creating and promoting this brand. By making strategic use of social platforms, athletes can begin to establish their presence and engage with their target audience.

Scholarships and a Shift in Mindset

When it comes to scholarships and opportunities in the world of sports and education, Joy encourages that student-athletes embrace a shift in mindset. Rather than waiting to be noticed or recruited, athletes should take proactive steps to secure their future. 

Scholarships are a great way to make higher education more affordable. There are many scholarships available, and athletes can actively seek them out by conducting online searches, focusing on opportunities that match their state of residence.

Beyond Local Scholarships: Explore the World of Opportunities

Don’t limit your scholarship search to local opportunities – there’s a big world of scholarships available from various sources! By using online resources and search engines, athletes and parents can find scholarships specific to their state, expanding the possibilities beyond their immediate community.

Don’t Be Afraid to Dive In

Joy’s advice is simple yet impactful: Don’t be afraid of NIL.

Embrace the opportunities that it provides. Don’t wait for coaches or recruiters to lead the way. Get out there and actively seek your path to success. Use NIL and scholarships as tools to take control of your destiny and unlock your potential.

In today’s highly competitive and constantly evolving world of student athletics, it’s important to stay informed, proactive, and open to the possibilities presented by NIL. By building a personal brand, actively seeking scholarships, and adopting a proactive mindset, athletes and their parents can unlock doors to brighter futures. Joy Harris’ journey is a testament to the transformative power of education, entrepreneurship, and personal branding.

Whether you’re dreaming of college scholarships or simply pursuing your passion for sports, NIL can be a game-changer in your journey. Good luck!

Episode Highlights: 

[01:50] Introduction to Joy Harris. Joy is a student athlete advocate and entrepreneur who believes in making the world of sports more accessible to young athletes.

[03:00] Joy Harris talks about her background and how she got started in advocating for student-athletes and their parents.

[05:00] Definition of NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) and its significance for student-athletes.

[06:00] Clarification that NIL is not limited to Division I athletes and is available for athletes at all levels, including high school.

[08:00] Examples of NIL deals for student-athletes, including local partnerships with businesses and online brand deals.

[09:00] Discussion about the benefits of pursuing NIL deals for student-athletes, including monetary gain, funding college education, and expanding their personal brand.

[10:00] How NIL can help students graduate college debt-free and reduce the financial burden of tuition.

[11:00] The role of NIL in networking and creating opportunities for student-athletes’ future careers.

[12:00] The importance of building a personal brand for student-athletes to attract NIL opportunities.

[14:00] The flexibility and income potential of NIL compared to traditional part-time jobs for student-athletes.

[15:00] A mindset shift for student-athletes to take control of their future and not wait to be recruited.

[16:00] The importance of college as a networking opportunity and how NIL can help bridge the networking gap for student-athletes.

[17:00] The evolving landscape of NIL and potential changes in regulations in the future.

[19:00] How to get started with NIL and the importance of building an authentic personal brand.

[21:00] Information about the “How to Get Paid Before Going Pro” scholarship for student-athletes.

[22:00] A discussion about finding scholarships and tips for students and parents to seek out opportunities.

[24:00] The importance of expanding the search for scholarships beyond the local community.

[25:00] The benefit of diversifying scholarship options and not solely relying on being recruited for a sports scholarship.

[26:00] Encouragement for parents and student-athletes not to be afraid of the NIL landscape and to actively seek opportunities.

Next Steps:

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