How to Bring NIL into the Classroom

Recent NCAA legislation allows college student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. The opportunities range from advertising endorsement deals and sponsored social media posts to running sports camps, signing autographs, selling merchandise, doing speaking engagements, and making personal appearances. High school athletes are even eligible for monetized NIL opportunities.

Earlier this month, I participated in a panel discussion hosted by Stukent along with Maribeth Kuzmeski, David Meluni, and Karen Freberg to discuss teaching a course related to Name, Image, & Likeness (NIL). The other panelists were exceptional! Maribeth from Oklahoma State University has created an NIL online course that professors can adopt from Stukent. David, a former college athlete, has worked in the sports industry and has been teaching NIL at Syracuse University. Karen teaches social media at University of Louisville and is a social media and personal branding expert as well as a former college athlete. As for me, I have been working with the athletics department at the University of South Florida and teaching/researching social media. I have been an NIL speaker for our athletes and am exploring launching our own NIL course at USF. I am also asked to speak quite often on the topic of personal branding, which is very important for athletes who are interested in pursuing these opportunities.

In preparing for this panel, I considered of the range of activities and content that could be covered in an NIL course. Many of my ideas center on social media because that’s my area of expertise. These content areas and activities include:

  • Conducting a personal brand audit
  • Understanding social media etiquette
  • Setting up social media profiles
  • Creating social media content
  • Learning how to increase followers/engagement
  • Understanding social media analytics
  • Learning about disclosures and legal aspects
  • Designing a media kit
  • Connecting with brands/businesses/companies
  • Exploring affiliate marketing opportunities
  • Creating/selling merchandise online (guides, t-shirts, online courses)
  • Pricing social media content
  • Understanding compliance
  • Exploring NFTs (this came up in the panel)

If you are interested in learning more, you can watch the panel webinar from Stukent available here:

Some additional resources for teaching personal branding are the following books/podcast:

Karen Kang: Branding Pays

Mark Schaefer: Known

Malcolm Lemmons: Impact: Beyond the Game

Name Image Likeness Podcast

You might also incorporate one of the following free certifications in your course:

Meltwater’s Influencer Marketing Certification

Front Office Sports’ NIL Certification

Also, if you are interested in the presentation I recently did for our athletes at USF, you can download the file below.

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