Stories by Michael Smith originally published 6.19.2023

The rapidly changing name, image and likeness industry is just 2 years old, but it already has begun to take shape as the business of college sports undergoes unprecedented change. From jerseys to endorsements, commercials to camps and clinics, NIL has forged a position of significant relevance in college athletes.

In the profiles that follow, Sports Business Journal examines the Power Players of NIL — who’s doing the deals, who’s setting the trends, who’s making the most of the dynamic space and who is best-positioned for the future.

NIL deals are doing their job, in terms of providing moneymaking opportunities for college athletes. In addition, the athletes are learning how to conduct business, file taxes and keep up with their own finances.

College leaders continue to look for ways to improve NIL through federal legislation, but the commercial opportunities afforded athletes have forever changed college athletics.

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The multimedia and licensing giant provides NIL solutions for its college clients and brand partners. While Learfield does not represent athletes, its Allied initiative delivers university marks and logos for use in brand sponsorships that integrate NIL, providing increased opportunities for athletes. Its licensing division, CLC, leveraged its experience to launch the Compass NIL platform, which provides an integrated education and deal disclosure service for universities. Compass also is used by licensees and athlete representation organizations to provide an opt-in platform for group licensing deals.