Marketing offerings range from the NCAA to high school sports

Ian Jackson and John “Boogie” Fland are among the brightest stars in high school basketball and now have business contracts proving it.

Teenagers from New York and friendly rivals cash in on their name, image, and similarity through marketing contracts often referred to as NIL deals. Contracts began to descend to high school level after last year’s NCAA decision to allow university athletes to cash in on their fame.

So far, seven states have approved contracts for preparatory athletes. Other states, such as Ohio, continue to debate whether NILs will tarnish high school sports.

Jackson and Fland, both of whom are considered the best students for the 2024 degree, are paid a percentage of sales of the brand’s products that bear their resemblance and four-digit monthly checks for posting about the brand on social media.

Jackson, 16, said the money he earns from Spreadshop and several other businesses saves to buy a home for his family.

“I want to put my family in a better place,” Jackson said.

Fland, 15, also said he wants to help his family.

“It was a very big deal,” he said. “All the hard work has finally paid off.”

In Ohio, high school principals began voting on May 1 on whether to change the state’s high school athletics federation statute to allow athletes to sign contracts.

“Many of us here at OHSAA and school administrators don’t like NIL,” said Ohio High School Athletics Federation spokesman Tim Stried. “We wish we didn’t have to deal with this, but it won’t go away. We can participate in shaping it or do what the NCAA has done and fight it until it is different. ”

Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, said NIL’s rights to high school athletes could prove disruptive, but she softened her criticism, saying: “I don’t think we’ll see much of this. ”

High school, Niehoff said, “is not intended as an opportunity to earn a living and hopefully will remain so.”

The issue of the NIL contract for high school athletes followed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June stating that the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits to nearly 500,000 student-athletes in the country. Since then, Alaska, California, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, and Utah have passed laws or policies that allow NIL compensation for high school athletes.

Jackson, who attends Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, is represented by his AAU coach. Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, has hired a marketing advisor to help Fland and other students at the school with NIL affairs.

Colleges and, furthermore, high school athletes are not employees and should not be limited to any market where they have value.

David Ridpath, Associate Professor of Sports Business at the University of Ohio

In general, university and high school athletes can use sports agents to advertise their name, image, and similarities, but they are not allowed to hire agents to represent them professionally without compromising their eligibility. The standard fee for marketing agents is 15-20% of NIL athletes ’contracts.

High school athletic federations in countries where NIL agreements are allowed prohibit students from using the names of their schools and team logos in the contracts they enter into.

In Florida, high school athletes are not allowed to benefit from their star. But Laney Higgins, a senior volleyball player at Carrollwood Day School on Lake Magdalene, struck a deal after the end of the season to donate money to the concussion center that treated her.

She signed with Q30 Innovations, a Connecticut-based company that makes devices to reduce brain injuries, after suffering numerous concussions while doing her sport. She donates to the earnings of the Concussion Center of the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Higgins is continuing his volleyball career at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven, Georgia this fall.

“Brands will continue to see that female student athletes can meet goals in a unique and authentic way because a big name doesn’t always mean the best success,” Higgins said.

According to the latest data collected by Opendorse Deals, a company its officials say has helped connect 100,000 university athletes with third-party NIL affairs, the average payout so far has been small. Division I athletes with at least one contract earned an average of about $ 664, according to the data. For Division II athletes, that’s $ 59, and only $ 43 in Division III.

Nearly 70% of jobs involve posting on social media, Opendors data show.

David Ridpath, an associate professor of sports business at the University of Ohio, presents an opportunity for student athletes to benefit financially as a civil rights issue. Athletes are not employees of the schools they attend and should not be restricted in their earnings, he said, adding that the amounts will not be large, but they could put “a few extra dollars in their pockets”.

“In my opinion, everything was positive,” Ridpath said. “College and, furthermore, high school athletes are not employees and should not be limited to any market where they have value.”

The basketball phenomenon Mikey Williams is among the exclusive group of high school athletes who have signed lucrative NIL contracts. Williams, who will play his final year at San Ysidro High School in San Diego, signed a contract with shoe and athletic clothing maker Puma for an unknown amount while attending a sports academy in Florida.

Former Texas high school football star Quinn Ewers is another exception to the norm of humble recipients. The highly acclaimed quarterback decided to give up last year to enroll at Ohio State University earlier last year, a move that allowed him to sign a reported $ 1.4 million in NIL contracts before arriving on campus last summer. Ewers played just two pointless recordings for the Buckeys last season before deciding to move to the University of Texas.

Matthew Mitten, a professor of sports law at Marquette University in Milwaukee, said there are potential pitfalls in NIL jobs at both the high school and college levels, which he called “the last bastion of amateurism.”

Mitten noted that former students and fans of the University of Texas announced in December that up to 16 football offensive players on the scholarship would receive $ 50,000 each starting in August to support charitable goals.

“It has almost become a de facto paycheck to play,” Mitten said.

Mitten and others wonder what impact NIL’s capabilities could have on the banned but hardly uncommon practice of high schools recruiting athletes. He pointed out the possibility that wealthy alumni of private high school students could copy the model of alumni of the University of Texas.

Mitten and others say parents of high school athletes need to be educated about NIL contracts to protect their children if the opportunity arises.

“I think they will have to be careful,” Mitten said. “There are a lot of legal issues that minors and their parents and guardians will not be aware of.”

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