Name, Image and Likeness

Beginning on July 1, the NCAA approved a policy that allows NCAA college athletes the opportunity to benefit from their name, image and likeness. The policy provides the following guidance to college athletes, recruits, their families and member schools:

  • Individuals can engage in NIL activities that are consistent with the law of the state where the school is located. Colleges and universities may be a resource for state law questions.
  • College athletes who attend a school in a state without an NIL law can engage in this type of activity without violating NCAA rules related to name, image and likeness.
  • Individuals can use a professional services provider for NIL activities
  • Student-athletes should report NIL activities consistent with state law or school and conference requirements to their school

The Sports & Entertainment Group has developed a series of “Alerts” to further help student-athletes and their families better navigate the new name, image and likeness policy.

Things to Consider with NILs

  • Request the majority of your fee to be paid upfront before you perform any services.
  • Consider forming a personal service company to enhance your tax position and to shield you from the potential of personal liability.
  • Trust your instincts: If it sounds “too good to be true,” it probably is. Avoid fraudulent deals.
  • Avoid deals that infringe upon your University’s trademarks, and/or other intellectual property.
  • Avoid signing deals that span beyond your last regular season game of this season. Your market value during bowl play will be much higher than at the start of the regular season.
  • Avoid deals that are based directly or indirectly on your on-the-field play (Don’t do Pay-to-play deals).
  • Consider strategies to increase your social media footprint (Number of followers).
  • Avoid NIL deals that could negatively impact your future NFL sponsorship/endorsement opportunities.
  • Avoid the following deal categories: Gambling, Alcohol, Tobacco, NCAA Banned Substances, and THC, unless….


Click to Download TSEG Alert #1

Only two things are certain in life: death and TAXES!!

  • The IRS has a sports division! I repeat, the IRS has a sports division!
  • Student-athlete, the income you earn from NIL deals likely will be subject to Federal, State, Self-employment, and certain other taxes.
  • Parents, if you  are claiming your student-athlete on your tax return, the income your child earns from NIL deals likely will be attributed to YOU and YOUR income tax obligation.
  • Be sure to request tax Form 1099 from any and all companies with which you partner for NIL deals.
  • Again, give serious consideration to forming your own personal services company/loan-out company in light of the above and other tax concerns.


Click to Download TSEG Alert #2

More to Consider

Required FTC Disclosure: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that all social media posts advertising/promoting a product or service clearly state the relationship between the poster and the brand. (See  16 CFR Section 255)

If your NIL deal involves social media posting, be sure to include the following hash-tags:

              “ad” or “sponsored;” or 

“This is a paid advertisement”

Note: The FTC prohibits celebrity endorsers from talking about your experience with a product or service that you have not tried!

Logo Protection: If you have a logo, be sure to consider registering it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If you have not yet registered your mark/logo, use the superscript “TM” to indicate you are claiming the trademark as yours. If you do not have a logo, stop what you are doing and go create one now!

Domain Name Protection: Avoid cyber squatters (people who make websites with your name). Register your domain name ( today with services like GoDaddy, Bluehost, or Doing so usually costs a small fee ranging from $1.00 to $20.00. Failing to do this will likely result in someone “squatting” on your name and later attempting to sell it back to you once your popularity increases.


Click to Download TSEG Alert #3