The name, image and likeness era of college athletics is not even a week old, and we’ve already seen some significant deals struck. One that emerged out of the University of Miami on Tuesday falls into that category, especially for its unique — and lucrative — structure.
American Top Team, a South Florida-based MMA training company, has finalized its plans to offer NIL contracts to every scholarship football player for the Hurricanes. CaneSport.com first reported the deal, which is for all 90 of Miami’s current scholarship players.
Per CaneSport, the Miami Rivals.com affiliate, the players will be offered a $500 per month contract worth up to $6,000 per year to “endorse American Top Team through their social media accounts, personal appearances and other marketing vehicles.” If all 90 players were to accept the offer, the total investment from American Top Team would be in the range of $540,000.
"The NIL legislation is an amazing opportunity for businesses and fans to directly impact the lives of these players and the national reputation of our team," American Top Team founder Dan Lambert told CaneSport. "I originally planned to just enter into deals with a few players and then it hit me that there is a way bigger play here. With the right contacts, effort and financial commitment, we can reach every player and get this city firmly behind this team where it should be. We can bring back ‘The U.’"
Lambert — who is a huge Miami fan, clearly — created a marketing company to oversee the entire process and help the Miami players arrange these deals. Former Miami standout Kendrick Norton is involved in the effort, as is MMA star Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal is a Miami native who trains at American Top Team.
NCAA suspended its ban on NIL deals on July 1
Since the NCAA adjusted its rules last week, we’ve seen college athletes make marketing deals, but almost all have been on an individual basis. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King has positioned himself quite well, signing endorsement deals with several companies as he enters his final season of college football.
Florida’s NIL law became official on July 1, allowing such a deal to take place. Florida and several other states around the country drafted up laws to allow college athletes in their states to earn income from their own image, prompting the NCAA to seek a federal mandate on the issue.
The NCAA hoped the federal government would step in and institute national standards before July 1 so NIL rules would not differ on a state-to-state basis. That did not come to fruition, so the NCAA suspended its long-standing amateurism rules related to NIL.
The NCAA is calling this change an “interim” measure “until federal legislation or new NCAA rules are adopted.”
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