Last Updated on May 9, 2023
When I first started teaching NIL at University of Florida’s PR program in Spring 2022, my department chair let me know there was a gymnast who was interested in being my TA because she couldn’t take my course and wanted to learn more about NIL. When she told me it was Leah Clapper, I recognized the name instantly. Leah was already establishing herself as one of the first athletes to get creative with NIL with her Balance Palace gymnastics boardgame.
I teach online, so I don’t get to meet very many of my students (or TAs), but Leah asked to meet with me that spring while I was on campus to discuss a new business she was in the early days of creating: NIL Island. By then, I’d had enough interactions with Leah to know she was wise beyond her years, with business instincts I rarely even see in budding entrepreneurs.
From branding and graphic design to lead generation and marketing plans, Leah already had a solid idea for NIL Island. I shared some strategies and templates that worked for me both here on Business of College Sports and when I was building the former PR agency I owned, and I was impressed with how quickly Leah took that information and implemented it into her own business.
Lucky for me, I got to work with Leah again as my graduate assistant in the Fall of 2022 over in the Sport Management program at UF. This gave us even more time to discuss NIL Island and the formal launch she had planned for Spring 2023.
It’s been an honor to play some small role along the way as Leah brought NIL Island to life. I even got he chance to trade guest blogs with her recently and wrote a piece on questions student athletes should ask before signing with an agent. So, when Leah told me she was interested in taking on a business partner, I couldn’t raise my hand fast enough to fill that role.
So, now I can officially announce that I’m joining NIL Island as Leah’s business partner!
For me, NIL Island is a natural expansion of my NIL work here on Business of College Sports and my new Jobs in NIL site. Here, our focus is on educating athletic administrators and those who work in and around college sports on the latest developments in NIL. Over on NIL Island, the focus is NIL education and resources for student athletes.
I couldn’t be more excited for all that we have planned, including the first-ever NIL Island Retreat for a select group of female student athletes in August (if you’re interested in partnering with us on that, shoot me a message). Bookmark NIL Island and follow us on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for more exciting announcements and resources coming soon!