The name, image and likeness (NIL) issue has been prominent in the news this week given the Supreme Court decision Monday and the pending July 1 deadline when players can begin profiting from marketing themselves. If it’s on the minds of football fans, I knew it would be on the minds of draft prospects. . . or, at least, that’s what I thought. But I wanted to find out for sure, so I asked several of my agent clients.
Here’s what I asked: What are you hearing from players you recruit re: NIL? Does it come up in conversation? Are they asking what you can do for them in that area?
Here are some of the responses. By the way, I reached out to about 20 contract advisors and only got two who said the players they are recruiting hadn’t asked about it, or who dismissed the issue entirely.
- “Not as prominent as I anticipated it would be. I believe kids are being educated and are wary of signing a marketing deal with a single agent, which I believe is the intelligent thing to do. Don’t sell yourself for pennies on the dollar with an agent/agency that you have a limited relationship with.”
- “(No one has mentioned it) yet, but it’s coming. I think it’ll be a huge tool to use for agencies with the means to do it. But will definitely have to be done right. It could be a huge problem.”
“Yes (from kids) and from parents. They just ask, ‘what does it mean? What’s in it for them? How do they deal with it?’ . . . My expectation is anyone doing this the right way it’s not going to be much of an impact, but those who aren’t doing things the right way, this just gives them more options.”
“(It’s) in every conversation. They’re getting bombarded with it. All think they have paydays coming . . . I can tell they’re being sold by agents that they have deals for them now. Reality is, this will only benefit a handful of elite college football players — the QBs, skill players, local heroes, or those that have built themselves a legitimate social following/community or content platform.”
“We are getting questions on how it will work from most players — but more specifics from skill guys.”
“Always comes up. We are ready (when they do). . . most players . . . are still super cautious, no matter the caliber. I think nobody wants to be the guinea pig, but they know it’s gonna be a snowball effect.”
As you know, a couple weeks ago, we asked Twitter which job was harder, agent or scout? The results were overwhelming that a scout’s job is harder, which made me realize that, in many cases, even the closest followers of the business side of the game are still glamorizing the life of an NFL contract advisor. Hopefully, reading some of these responses and recognizing the financial challenges that player representatives face might help change perceptions.
Want even more? Make sure to sign up for our Friday Wrap. In this week’s episode, we’ll be looking even closer at the NIL issue as it relates to player representation, plus we’ll check out the latest from the scouting world and more.