You as a Brand: Strategizing for NIL

To date, 32 states have passed legislation that allows college student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. College athletes can now enjoy financial rewards through advertising endorsement deals, sponsored social media posts, running sports camps, signing autographs, selling merchandise, doing speaking engagements, and making personal appearances.

To make the most of NIL, student-athletes should think of themselves as “brands” who can be an ambassador for companies looking to partner with athletes. Companies are looking for athletes who can help spread their stories authentically to athletes’ own audiences. If you represent something that a company finds appealing, relevant, and/or engaging, they will be interested in aligning with you.

If you are a college student-athlete, ask yourself the following questions to start crafting your brand story:

What are your values?

What are your passions/hobbies?

How would you describe yourself?

What is your backstory?

What makes you who you are?

Once you have some answers, you can start to create content on social media that showcases your brand. After your deep-dive into your personal brand, ask yourself the following questions to help shape your content:

What sports-related content do you like to share? Followers might be interested in behind-the-scenes information, tips for playing the sport, etc.

Outside of your sport, how else would you define yourself? Are you a gamer, dog lover, coffee drinker, pizza eater, yoga enthusiast, hiker, traveler, family member, movie lover, etc. Post about that!

Do you have a cause that’s important to you? Is it mental health, the environment, animal adoptions, etc.? Post about that!

Are you involved in the community through volunteering? Share your experiences!

What brands do you love? Create content around your love of those brands.

Through all your content, try to tell a story that will connect with your followers as well as brands. Create quality content and post regularly. Finally, ask your community what they are interested in seeing on your accounts.

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