Name, Image, and Likeness: Gaining a Recruiting Advantage
“There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus The sentiment of the “only constant is change” is true of college sports. The forthcoming changes to Name, Image, and Likeness rules will change the economics of being a college athlete. Specifically, the proposed rules will open the door to players actively creating and profiting from their individual brands. Sports Illustrated reported that UNC was partnering with Jeremy Darlow to provide branding training to its athletes. "Today, more than at any other point in history, athletes have the opportunity to build personal brands that transcend the sports they play," said Darlow. "Thanks to the exposure and influence offered by social media, these young men and women can now control their own brand destiny." The online course features videos and walks the players through building a brand marketing plan. "The goal is to teach athletes how to build personal brands that set them up for success in life, regardless of what happens in sports," added Darlow. "Too often athletes are defined entirely by their athletic careers without developing influence in other areas of passion. My goal is to change that." The most interesting thing about the story is that it shows how schools are beginning to respond to a changing environment. College sports are about competition. And the easiest way to succeed is to have the most talented players. As players become allowed to profit from their Name, Image, and Likeness, players have an incentive to choose the schools that can help them develop their brands. UNC’s is creating something that can be sold to players in upcoming recruiting cycles. The competitive environment of recruiting is about to change.