Name, Image, and Likeness ("NIL") Survey Results: The Evolving Landscape for College Student-Athletes

A recently completed study of 1,100 NCAA Division I student-athletes focusing on Name, Image, and Likeness ("NIL") activities, goals, expectations, and more.

Since Name, Image, and Likeness ("NIL") was launched in July 2021, there has been no independent data to see how student-athletes have been engaging in NIL. With Student-Athletes Insights monthly surveys, analysis of the progress of the NCAA interim NIL policy is now possible. Here's a summary of findings from the survey of 1,100 NCAA DI student-athletes.

Social Media Dominates

Social Media is dominating NIL activities. But there is a little more to it than meets the eye. The kinds of social media activities can be further segmented into three types: 1) "social media influencers", where a brand pays a student-athlete to post content, 2) a student-athlete's use of social media to promote their own brand or merchandise, or 3) the use of social media like Cameo to sell content directly to consumers.

  • Social media makes up 72% f of all NIL activity
  • Endorsements (10%), Appearances (7%), and Instruction (i.e. camps, clinics, private instruction) (5%) make up the next three
  • Merchandise sales (4%) and Autograph Signings (2%) rank near the bottom

Non-Revenue Sports Are Gaining Traction

There is no question that football student-athletes are seeing the most NIL opportunities (40% of all NIL activity is by football athletes). But the opportunities for non-revenue sport athletes are creeping upwards and account for nearly 50% of the total. 

  • Women's volleyball is holding steady at the #2 position at 10%
  • Men's Basketball is in the #3 position at 9%
  • Other sports in the top 10 are Baseball (7%), Men's Track and Field (6%), Women's Soccer (5%), Women's Basketball (5%), Women's Track and Field (5%), Softball (4%), Men's Soccer and Women's Swimming (3%)

Deal Size

The average compensation per student-athlete per activity was $650. Not as promising is the fact that the rate of "in-kind" deals rose dramatically. Cash deals account for 65% of all NIL activity, while in-kind deals now total 35%.

About Student-Athlete Insights 

Founded by SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 Award winner and professor at the University of Vermont's Grossman School of Business Bill Carter, Student-Athlete Insights is the leading educator to athletic departments, service providers, and student-athletes about Name, Image, and Likeness.

Source: Student-Athlete Insights

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Categories: Collegiate Sports

Tags: nameimagelikeness, nil, student-athletes