NIL Frequently Asked Questions: "Why should we pay to help our student-athletes make money? Aren't they getting enough benefits?"

By FanWord

In this blog series, we talk about the most pressing and frequent NIL-related questions, statements, and concerns that administrators, coaches, and student-athletes ask us.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at the following statement:

“Why should we pay to help our student-athletes make money? Aren’t they getting enough benefits?”​

Learn more about our NIL program – FanWord BrandUp

At first glance, this question might raise some eyebrows.

Investing in enhancing the student-athlete experience and setting them up for success and a career beyond college seem like good-enough reasons to put some dollars behind, right?

But if you think about it, athletic departments have a point here. They aren’t allowed to financially benefit from any NIL-related deals and paying for services that help their student-athletes make money potentially comes with some uncertainties. 

If your student-athletes have stronger brands, do you incentivize your corporate partners to work with them instead of working with you?

If you provide your athletes with tools, resources, and education to tell their stories and grow their brand, do you take time away from their academics or their sport? (See another NIL FAQ post about this)

Similarly to how we like to address some of the other concerns that have been raised before, we also think it’s important here to look at this issue from a different angle.

When you think of your brand (the brand of the athletic department), what really defines it? Is the logo? The colors? Your football helmet? 

Well, truthfully, all of it relates to your brand. But you know what defines your brand more than anything else? Your people!

Your student-athletes, your fans, your alumni, your coaches, and you and your colleagues truly define the brand of your athletic department. And your student-athletes carry the biggest weight in that equation.

Think about it from this way. Can you name all the athletes that were a part of LSU’s national championship team last year? Probably not. But you know that LSU won the national championship. Similarly to how you associate the institution with a success, you also associate the institution with a scandal, although it may have been caused by one of your student-athletes. 

Long story short, the stories and brands of your student-athletes have a huge impact on the story and brand of your institution as well.

Just because John may not wear the school logo on his chest when he posts on social media, doesn’t mean it won’t have an effect on the school.

As a result, you aren’t just paying to boost the student-athlete experience and setting them up for future success, you are also investing in boosting your brand.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you and your student-athletes make the most of this historic new era in college sports, check out our NIL program, FanWord BrandUp, or contact us via



FanWord Boost

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