Feigenbaum Law

NCAA Endorsements Begin To Roll In

Sports & Entertainment
July 23, 2021

Back in June the United States Supreme Court ruled that NCAA athletes could be allowed to make money off their names and likeness in order to receive compensation while still in school. We reported about the court’s decision on June 25. We wanted to take some time this week to discuss the immediate impact the court’s decision has had on college athletes, including those who have been quick to capitalize on the opportunity to make an income while enrolled as a college athlete.

Supreme Court finds compensation restrictions unacceptable

In its decision, the Supreme Court stopped short of allowing colleges to pay money directly to athletes in exchange for playing a sport. However, other forms of compensation were made legal, including allowing college athletes to earn money from the use of their name, likeness, and images. In the past, athletes could not pursue things such as product sponsorships, but the court’s decision has eliminated that barrier and we are already seeing some top athletes making money.

Basketball player joins Cameo

Baylor University star Jared butler made headlines for joining the website Cameo, which allows users to pay for personalized messages from celebrities. Professional athletes are common on the platform, but Butler is likely the first NCAA player to make an appearance. People who want to book a personalized greeting from Butler will have to pony up $60 to do so. Examples of messages he has delivered can be found on his Cameo page.

Sweet tea company tries to please everyone

The Southern United States is known to love two things (although the list is not exclusive). Both sweet tea and college football are hugely popular in the South. It, therefore, made sense for sweet tea company, Milo’s Tea to look for sponsorships. Their first sponsorship agreement was made with Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. However, Auburn is only one football powerhouse in the state, and Milo’s likely didn’t want to offend fans of rival school, the University of Alabama. As such, it was reported a day later that they have signed that school’s defensive back Malachi Moore. For those looking for an Arnold Palmer, rest assured knowing that Milo’s also makes lemonade, allowing Alabama fans to combine them for a beverage.

First endorsement was with a grooming company

While the deals we discussed above are interesting, the title of first NCAA player to sign an endorsement deal appears to have gone to Jackson State football player, Antwan Owens, who inked a deal with men’s grooming shop, Three Kings Grooming, just minutes after he was legally allowed to do so. The sponsorship was reported by Sports Illustrated, who noted that while Owens was the first player to ink a sponsorship deal, he certainly wasn’t going to be the last.

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