Two new platforms being introduced today are focused on getting more NIL deals for student athletes at the University of Florida: MarketPryce Florida and Student Athlete Empowerment.
Sponsorship marketplace MarketPryce is launching MarketPryce Florida, a platform aimed at providing local businesses in Gainesville the opportunity to receive free social media promotion from Florida student athletes. In turn, student athletes will be compensated for that promotion by alumni who donate to the MarketPryce Florida program.
The program works via a bi-weekly raffle. One local business, every two weeks, will receive free promotion from Gator student athletes. Student athletes who sign up for MarketPryce Florida will receive an email every two weeks with information about the local business that won the raffle, including which platform—Instagram or Twitter—they’d need to post on and how much the promotion pays. The first 25 student athletes who opt in will be able to take part.
Payments to the student athletes are funded entirely by alumni donations, allowing alumni to support but student athletes and the local businesses receiving the promotion. Alumni can split their donation 50% between a team of their choice at UF and 50% goes into a general pot. The general pot is then split every two weeks between the student athletes participating in the raffle.
The team-specific pots will be distributed to student athletes on those teams in exchange for other NIL activities, such as promoting MarketPryce Florida on social media, appearing at local events, signing memorabilia (nothing game used or with UF intellectual property), creating personalized videos for fans and other permissible activities.
More than 40 Gainesville businesses, including Chick-Fil-A, Orange Theory and Pita Pit have already signed on with MarketPryce Florida. MarketPryce says each business that opts in is vetted beforehand to ensure no student athletes are at risk in terms of compliance.
Separately, Student Athlete Empowerment is being launched by full-service agency of record Student Athlete NIL. SAE will operate as a third-party intermediary to coordinate deals between corporations or individuals with student athletes. SAE’s first three schools are University of Florida, Loyola Marymount University and Robert Morris University.
SAE is fulfilling a need I’ve heard about firsthand as I’ve visited campuses. Athletic departments are fielding numerous calls from brands, alumni and others interested in working with student athletes who are looking to connect with those student athletes. Schools have been actively trying to determine how much they can help and when that help crosses the line and becomes a conflict of interest.
That’s where SAE comes in. SAE doesn’t represent the institution, its employees or student athletes. Schools contract with SAE to act as a trusted third-party intermediary. When a corporation or donor reaches out to someone at the school and expresses interest in working with a student athlete, the school can pass them on to SAE, who will take it from there.
SAE manages NIL transactions from start to finish, ensuring the student athletes fulfill their obligations, the school receives the required disclosures, and the student-athlete get all required paperwork to report their income and pay their taxes. All transactions run through SAE (as a corporate entity) to reduce complexity.
Donors can also pool funds, which SAE can draw from to create NIL opportunities. For example, donors might pool funds for SAE to set up a camp or clinic for student athletes to coach in, which would also result in additional compensation from the campers. SAE will also facilitate direct NIL deals, such as a student athlete appearing at a birthday party to sign autographs and take photos.
Each school has a custom site set up to refer brands or individuals who are interested in NIL opportunities:
- University of Florida: www.GatorEmpowerment.com
- Loyola Marymount: www.EmpowerLions.com
- Robert Morris: www.EmpowerColonials.com
Craig Pintens, Loyola Marymount’s athletic director, says SAE brings both value and security for his student athletes.
“Name, image, and likeness is long overdue for student-athletes. The relationship with Student Athlete Empowerment will provide brands and supporters meaningful opportunities with LMU student-athletes to further their brands and monetize their NIL. SAE also provides security in knowing that our student-athletes are well-represented and all state laws and NCAA rules are followed.”
Schools sign a Memorandum of Understanding with SAE, which obligates SAE to disclose all deals, taking that burden off student athletes. Schools do not provide any compensation to SAE, and SAE isn’t competitive with other companies like Opendorse, INFLCR, Altius Brandr, Compass or others athletic departments might already have as partners.
Additional schools are expected to be announced by SAE soon.