Sports Creators Cash in on NIL

How the NCAA’s Name, Image, and Likeness policy has changed the creator landscape two years in

Good morning. Colin and Samir here. 👋🏼👋🏾

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The State of NIL

Livvy Dunne and Sam Hurley / Instagram

Next month marks two years of the NCAA suspending its name, image, and likeness (NIL) rules that prohibited college athletes from cashing in on endorsement deals for products and services.

Since college athletes have been permitted to take on those deals, the gap between athlete and creator has gotten smaller. Collegiate sports stars are expanding their digital influence by way of brand deals with Nike and Gatorade and appearances in franchises like Fast X and in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.

Let’s unpack what two years of NIL has meant for the creator industry.

By the Numbers:

146% → growth in NIL deals year-over-year since 2021.

17% → how many college athletes at Division I schools participated in NIL activities in 2022. That number is growing fast at certain schools—for example, 40% of Texas Tech’s student athletes participate in NIL deals.

$917 million → how much student athletes made in NIL deals from 2021–22, NIL marketplace Opendorse estimates.

55% → how many NIL deals amount to endorsement deals on Instagram.

Snapshot: Some of NIL’s top earners don’t play big-ticket sports like basketball and football. Sam Hurley, a high jumper for the University of Texas, has raked in more than $1 million doing endorsements with Amazon and Vuori. Livvy Dunne, a gymnast at LSU, has earned more than $3 million partnering with brands like Body Armour and American Eagle.

Zoom out: While some college athletes like Hurley and Dunne are making seven figures with endorsement deals, the reality for most is closer to a few thousand dollars in deals per year. Many of those typical, smaller endorsement deals are regional tie-ins—for example, Chipotle and Express partnering with Ohio State players to reach the Columbus region.

FYI: The NCAA is currently looking to pass a bill in Congress that more effectively regulates the ways college athletes are compensated for endorsements and the shares their agents can take for such deals.

Dream Returns to Wearing Mask Due to ‘Hate’

Dream / YouTube

After receiving an abundance of “attention and hate” online, popular Minecraft creator Dream will return to wearing his trademark mask both in his videos and in public, he announced in a video on Friday.

Context: Dream first revealed his face last October in a viral campaign across social media that culminated in a YouTube video that premiered in front of 1.3 million live viewers.

At the time, Dream said he removed the mask to meet his online friends IRL and film in-person content. The creator has since deleted that video, along with other online photos that show his face.

Big picture: There are several reasons why creators stay anonymous—some individuals we’ve spoken to mentioned factors like privacy, cost, and authenticity.

FYI: Dream is set to headline VidCon in a couple weeks. Whether he’ll wear a mask remains to be seen—we’ll be there to keep tabs.

Sponsored by Spotter

How Spotter is fueling a community of top creators

Spotter Summit

As a Press reader, you know Spotter as the company that helps creators get the capital they need to grow their businesses—Spotter has already paid out over $775 million to 400+ creators like DudePerfect, MrBeast, Airrack, and Kinigra Deon.

But Spotter isn’t just accelerating creator careers with capital. They are investing heavily into building community. When you work with Spotter, you get access to exclusive creator events where you can connect with other creators and learn from top industry execs who get it.

Take the Spotter Summit we helped plan earlier this year:

  • We headed to Napa with MrBeast, DudePerfect, Deestroying, and other creators + tons of insightful speakers from companies like OpenAI and Pixar.

  • Since January, we’ve been hosting workshops with the Spotter team and top creators to develop tools that offer solutions to the problems we all face.

We’re already planning Spotter Summit 2024…can’t say too much, but trust us, it’s going to be awesome.

Learn more about joining the Spotter crew here.

25-Year-Old TikTok Creator Runs for Office

Cheyenne Hunt / YouTube

And she could be the first Gen Z congresswoman.

Cheyenne Hunt, a lawyer and Big Tech accountability advocate, announced her candidacy for California’s 45th district in April. Her platform largely caters to issues young people care deeply about: reproductive healthcare access and cost of living. She argues that young people “can't afford to wait” for current political leaders to solve these issues.

Zoom out: Hunt posts news commentary videos about 1-2 times per week to her nearly 75k followers on TikTok.

Is it working? Jury’s still out, but one recent video is filled with comments from viewers pledging their support from across the country.

👀 Creator Moves

  • The Why Files is looking for a script writer to help with video essays and mini documentaries.

  • Arcade Media is hiring an accountant to help with the Sidemen. Based in Brighton, UK.

  • THENX is looking for a video editor with a good understanding of fitness. Based in Miami, FL.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Lifestyle creator Serena Kerrigan releases a drink with Joe & The Juice.

  • Ludwig and Schlatt release an Animal Crossing-themed playlist of copyright-free music.

  • U.S. federal agencies cut TikTok ad spending.

  • Mythical shares a behind-the-scenes look at 24 of their newest team members.

  • A recent report suggests that YouTube and Instagram profit from crypto ads “at the expense of consumers.”

  • With 850M+ users, LinkedIn is the place to be right now to level-up your business as a creator. Enter Taplio: Create high-performing content 10x faster, schedule, analyze your stats, and engage. Try it for free.*

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