On April 16, 2021, Governor Tate Reeves signed into law Bill 2313, allowing student athletes in the state of Mississippi to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, and likenesses. Bill 2313 went into effect on July 1, 2021, along with similar bills from seven other states.
Student athletes can profit off of their NIL by participating in anything from sponsored social media posts, third-party endorsements, to making personal appearances. However, the Mississippi NIL law and each individual Mississippi university have their own specifications and restrictions as to how student athletes can take advantage of their NIL.
Mississippi’s is rather strict in comparison to other states’ NIL laws. Mississippi universities are allowed to place limitations on when Mississippi student athletes can participate in endorsement-related activities, Mississippi universities have sole control over what athletes wear during a sponsored event, and athletes are required to notify their respective university of any NIL transaction within 3 days of the agreement coming into effect.
In addition to those extra provisions, the Mississippi NIL law followed the suit of many other southern states and placed restrictions on student athletes endorsing any alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes or any other type of nicotine delivery device; sports performance-enhancing supplements; or gambling or sports wagering.
The State of Mississippi NIL Law is a means of staying competitive in the collegiate sports environment, but the details surrounding the implementation of these changes at a Federal level are still unclear. Bill 2313 speaks to the necessity of a bill passed at the Federal level in order to ensure these state laws are uniformly enforced. Until then, state legislatures set the precedent. Nevertheless, Mississippi universities are preparing for this legal shift and have developed their own programs to set rules and regulations in place to protect and govern their athletes.
Because of the wide range of specifications for each Mississippi school, here is a guide for both student athletes looking to connect with an affiliate, as well as businesses looking to endorse student athletes, organized by school.
With some of the most recognizable names in college sports, Ole Miss isn’t holding their student athletes back from already receiving large offers from companies. The entire football team recently accepted a contract from Blue Delta Jeans, a denim company based out of Tupelo, Mississippi. The contract gives each football player a custom pair of jeans valued at around $450 in exchange for one social post per month per player from now until January 2022. Businesses that wish to partner with Ole Miss athletes like Blue Delta can reach out to a student athlete directly, contact a student athlete’s agent, or go through IconSource.
Icon Source was founded in 2018 by Chase Garrett, former Athlete Marketing Manager at Red Bull, and is now leading the way in helping athletes make the most of their NIL while also partnering with brands to ensure the creation of mutually beneficial relationships between athletes and companies. So if you’re a business asking yourself “How can my company partner with an Ole Miss athlete?”, look no further than IconSource. Reach out today and let’s start a conversation.
The University of Mississippi has enhanced their partnership with INFLCR, a sports social media and education platform, to create “Next Level”. Next Level is a holistic platform on which Ole Miss student athletes can create content and utilize it to boost their social media following.
Not to mention, Rebel student athletes will have access to Ole Miss’ large and zealous alumni network of over 150,000 living members, and the opportunities that will come from being in the spotlight of Ole Miss’ extensive national media exposure.
As Ole Miss athletes grow their social media followings through the Next Level program, it’s always helpful to have other resources at one’s disposal. IconSource is a great resource for anyone looking to navigate the NIL wild west. If you have any questions, or any specific athletes, brands, or businesses you’d like to connect with, contact us and we’d be happy to learn more about your goals.
Mississippi State University has, like many other universities, been very open about the fact that they want to help their students succeed in this newfound area of freedom they have been granted by the Mississippi NIL law. MSU’s athletic director, John Cohen, has stated of MSU’s resources for athletes that they will be “an incredible resource to help educate [their] student-athletes and better position them not only for current success but also for life beyond college athletics.”
The use of third-parties and software developers to help facilitate these budding relationships between companies and student athletes is going to become more and more prevalent as people discover the best ways to connect and partner with Mississippi student athletes and others.
Whatever your goals, Icon Source can help businesses navigate the tricky waters of working with both athletes and their respective universities. So if you’re asking yourself “how can my company partner with Mississippi State athletes?”, then you’ve come to the right place. Reach out to someone today and we’ll answer any of your questions.
MSU student-athletes should know that, although their school cannot directly profit off of their athletes’ uses of their NILs, they are keen on setting them up for success. MSU is the first university in the country to implement the Compass NIL app, which is a program developed by the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) to provide all MSU student athletes and other collegiate athletes with knowledge about the parameters of using their NILs.
However, student athletes already have days full of academics, sports activities, and studying. NIL is only going to add to that list of responsibilities. With Icon Source, student athletes can manage their profiles on a single mobile app—which sends all required reporting data directly to the school, or to the school's desired disclosure software.
And what about taxes? No matter how many deals, large or small, that an athlete completes through Icon Source, they will be provided a single 1099. Most importantly, Icon Source forces brands to use a single contract, non-editable, which protects the students from unforeseen issues. Contact us today if you are interested in partnering with experienced professionals who can help you navigate the complicated waters of NIL.
University of South Mississippi athletes wasted no time fumbling before taking advantage of the shift in NIL legislation. Some 20 USM athletes signed deals immediately after Bill 2313 went into effect. USM running back Frank Gore Jr. recently sponsored a local meat market from his hometown of Miami, FL, which brings about a new opportunity for local businesses: using athletes from their area to promote their brand and/or products.
Many athletes can be seen partnering with known brands and large companies, but local restaurants and businesses also have much to gain. Something like player autographs on menus is an example of the creativity businesses can use when partnering with athletes and taking advantage of the profit potential of their NIL. Neighborhood-level endorsements from college town athletes are now possible, opening up an entire market that did not exist in Mississippi before the State of Mississippi NIL Bill 2313.
The University of South Mississippi has used the software program INFLCR for years to help student athletes bolster their social media accounts, and they recently extended the partnership to educate USM athletes on how to navigate NIL deals and sponsorship opportunities.
These USM-provided tools are a great start to help student athletes seize their newfound NIL sovereignty. But the school has left it in the hands of their athletes to manage their brand and connect with businesses and companies. In order to form partnerships with businesses directly on a safe and secure online platform, athletes should consider utilizing IconSource. We can put you in direct contact with brands that are interested in partnering with you, and you with them.
Student athletes, universities, and companies should pay close attention to the continuing developments in both the state of Mississippi NIL law and national laws that may be forthcoming.
Additional legislation will inevitably come up as all parties discern what NIL means for college sports and how businesses and brands can be a part of helping college athletes get paid and collaborate with Mississippi athletes.
While there remains a variety and inconsistency of laws at the state level, the possibility that Congress may pass federal NIL legislation is also possible. If you’re a student athlete or brand wondering what all this might mean for you, talk to Icon Source to stay up-to-date with the latest news and ahead of the latest trends.