How the NCAA’s NIL Policy Will Impact Enrollment Growth

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Michelle Meyer, NIL Coordinator at San Diego State University and Founder at NIL Network joins the podcast to talk about the economic and enrollment impact of the NCAA’s new name image likeness policy, and what a truly “free agent” system in Division I athletics might look like.

You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network. I'm Eric Olson with Helix Education, and we're here today with Michelle Meyer, and Il Coordinator at San Diego State University and founder at an Il network. Michelle, welcome to the show. Thanks to having me, Eric. Exciting to discuss all things n Il likewise, so excited to have you here and talk today about the NCAA's name, image likeness policy and the economic and enrollment impacts coming out of it. But before we dig in, can you give the listeners a little background on both San Diego State University and the NIL network? Yeah, so I'll start with an ill network, because that one came first bally and November of two thousand and twenty yea, my background. Actually, I'll go a little bit there. First, has in coaching volleyball works. We have the boyball friend number of years and have always been aware of my image likeness pretty much since. See the abandon case, which got settled at believe in two thousand and fourteen. Fast forwards to a member of two thousand and twenty. Article came up on nil and it's like, yeah, nobody is paying attention to this mass chains, that it's coming to college sports in two thousand and twenty one, and I think it was kind of due to to covid and not really having sports in two thousand and twenty. But you know this, this is always inside like once an I alrights go into place. This is the biggest change we've seen since title nine. There wasn't a hub of information. There wasn't really a place that we could go to learn about everything that was coming, and so I founded an I own network to try to build that hub of resources for athletes, coach, as a ministers, really anyone who was looking for for information and how to navigate this new era. So it's been running that pretty much. I was as a website and aggregating information and content from thought leaders and whatnot. And in November of...

...two thousand and twenty one, sandy go stay hired an a out or retiring for an nil specific position. I think they're about the force university in the country to do so, which was very innovative for Sandyo state, you know, not being a power five school, but kind of seen the writing on the wall that this was going. They are going to need more help in navigating this. So then at day of state now I guess for six or seven a month and I'm still running and I held network on the shome Michelle to kick us off, help us understand the NCAA's recent change to their name, image likeness and Il policy and what it means for college athletes today. Yeah, so you know, and I all stands for name, image likeness, which make up the three pieces of our right of publicity, which really kind of, whether people know it or not, is something that we all have. We can go out and we can sell tshirts of the names on the back or promote different businesses or things using our own name. And before the NCAA change these rules, college athletes actually did not have that right and I think in the simplest terms, looking back to my coaching days, I coach be folly about the University of Hawaii and I'm like my kids would have loved to go out and run clinics and private lessons on the beaches of Ikey and and they actually weren't permitted to do that. It would have potentially got a special waiver from the NCAAI, but it was a very hard process for them and, as we know, you know, college athletes are full time students and full time athletes and they don't really have time to work a part time job where they have to be a certain place, you know, from a nine to five or whatnot. They it's just not possible. And so yeah, so now they can take advantage of those rights. I think the most that we've seen in the first ten or eleven months that were here now is through partnering with businesses and doing social media endorsements, kind of your social media influence or kind of structure, I guess you could say, as well as doing appearances and doing some coaching clinics autograph signings. A lot of the jerseys with an athlete's name and number are coming back. So I'm excited for...

...that in the fall because I think again now these athletes can make some money off of it and it's something the fans are definitely looking forward to as well. It's so interesting. I'm curious what you've seen in this first less than a year in terms of what market economics are already coming out of these rule changes. What do you expect to see? You know, my athletes become more incentivized to make a college selection based on whatever institution has the biggest brand, because therefore I might be able to secure the biggest endorsement deal possible. What are you seeing? Yeah, and I think it's you know, we're still trying to gather all the the data from it being so new and whatnot, but I think there's a lot of speculation and in almost every direction right now. I mean some have said if you go to the school that has a massive brand and that they have within their athletic department, you know, are posting out photos and tagging the athletes that can help grow their own perfemal brand and they're following. That's a great opportunity for athletes. But at the same time there's others that argue that if you are like a, let's say, kid who grew up in San Diego and then goes to San Diego state, all of their followers, all of their family and friends are probably based out of San Diego, which makes them really attractive to a local San Diego business that's trying to get in front of you know that that democrage, demographic a can to twenty four year old, but then also local residents in San Diego that might come into their restaurant or into their shops after seeing an athlete promote them. And the last kind of speculation is saying, you know, if you're going to, let's hear, a a big time athlete or whatnot, and you go to even a smaller program where you're going to really shine and be the star and like the kind of celebrity of that program, does that make you again more like better off, I guess, with the local businesses. So all the speculation out thereof of where this is all going and what the best angle is for the athletes. But I definitely do think that, and I'll will be something they considered now throughout their recruiting process. We're already seeing it happened at the Revenue Generating Sports with football and men's basketball, not only from high school to college, but then also within the transfer portal...

...and trying to get some nil opportunities. I think it's you know, everyone says it's a while the last right now, and I think that, while I hate that term, I guess there's not really a better way to put all the things that are going on right now. But I think it's some point it's going to level out and just be part of our, you know, every day kind of life and recruiting process. Yeah, you mentioned transfer portal. I think some might look at it and see, boy, this is a free agent market, potentially one sponsored by local employers. Recently, game above capital offered Caleb Williams a million dollars to come play at Eastern Michigan University. Instead he ends up at USC and also happens to have an n Il partnership with beats by Dre. This just feels like a whole different game for college athletics and college selection by these athletes. Yeah, the interesting part by a game above capital was offering to the Williams. So the incidable interim policy is not very thorough, but it goes have three pieces to one is that there has to be equipped pro quol, meaning that there has to be some kind of action or activity for the confensation athlete receives. The second one being that no, they cannot enroll or remain enrolled at a university based off of an nil opportunity. So game above capital offering, cababillings. That million dollar incentive essentially took, I think it was eastern Michigan right like yeah, off the table because if he would have gone there that would have just been inviting an NCAA investigation into that happened. And like, Gosh, people are, people are really silly right now. But yeah, that's kind of you know, that's the Incaba came out with some clarification on just Monday, so two days ago, saying that the recruiting inducements, which we all know has been happening under the table for the last couple decades, now they are above table and now people are kind of losing their mind about it, but saying, you know it, recruiting inducements are not permissible and that they'll be doing retroactive investigations into some of the things that have been going on over the last...

...eleven months. So it'll be interesting, really interesting, to follow and see kind of where these investigations lead, because you know they're going to be standing up to the biggest wealthiest people, essentially in the United States with the the boosters and donors of the big time universities, and I'm just not sure with that kind of sparse policy that they put out last a lie, that they'll be able to have any sanctions without inviting, you know, more ten millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars obligation against them. When you're living in the wild, wild west, you need some shriff sometime. I shall that's everyone. You know, there's a great analogy the other day that I think a coach was saying, you know, we know the speed limits, thirty miles per hour. We're all driving forty, but then there's some that are driving a hundred fifty miles per hour and we all know that there's no police on the road, there's no highway patrol right now, so there's keeping going until somebody puts kind of a stop to this. I was like that is a fantastic analogy. It's like what is your risk? I don't know, guess, how risky do you want to be? And some have been quite risky. Another one, maybe even the most interesting use case that I saw on the nil side, athletic apparel company Adidas, just announced in open affiliate network for all done athletes, who can now get a revenue share from referring their social media followers toward adidas purchases. Are you seeing athletes excited about this? Is this as big of a potential play for both Adidas and our athletes as it might look like to me, at least from the outside? Yeah, I mean I think that it's it's a cool opportunity for athletes because, you know from from the Adida schools are already pretty much walking billboards for Adidas right they are always in a dudas even outside of their team activities. And so what I what I really think, and again I don't have all the inside details of what Adidas nil network looks like, but what I imagine it is as it now. They will give sort of an affiliate code to each athlete, that option that they can host in their instagram, bio,...

...twitter, bi or whatever on their social media. They have a website, I can put it up there. I'm sure that anyone who then uses that affiliate link to purchase any adidas gear, the athlete will get a kick back, probably around ten percent, I'd say, of the maybe pretax sail or I don't know what that looks like. So I think it's a really cool passive opportunity for athletes to engage in an Il in some capacity and to make a small kick back. I don't think that it's going to be, you know, life changing money or even more than a couple hundred bucks maybe every couple months. So I think it's a cool opportunity. It's there's a lot more in the nil state. So for the athletes that really want to get after this and engage with it. The last thing I'll say about the the ADIDA steal as well as like. I do think, though, that they should or probably will be selecting, I don't know, maybe fifty athletes that have more of that celebrity type following, either through their social media channels or because, you know, they play for a massive power five program or they're on TV or whatnot, that they'll actually write them a real contract with the monetary compensation, a guarantee to represent a d this maybe, and different commercials or advertising the Rep then through their their social media channels. So interested to learn more really. I mean that came out a couple months ago and I haven't really seen a ton of information about it. Yet I do think that it is limited to Adida schools to kick off, and so it would be interesting if Nike had counteract that by watching something similar as well. You mentioned how Sandigo set university was one of the first institutions to hire for a role like yours. What do they see? How do they how do you see your role in your work potentially impacting enrollment growth for the institution? Yeah, I mean I think that, you know, the same to a state was really forward thinking in hiring an nil position. We definitely I mean I think every week or so I see another position for an il posted around the country. So it's definitely something that's starting to grow. I think that a lot of universities are waiting for their budgets to roll over to include that that line for the new position. But yeah, I mean everything, I feel like...

...it's been athletic departments, for better or worse, always comes back to recruiting and nil is no different than that. Everyone says, you know, and I al is the new kind of shiny locker room where schools are investing a ton of money before from their boosters and donors into building creative facilities and waterfalls in the locker room and all these really extravagant things. And now you know, as an ill the players able to be compensated directly. You know they're hiring these kind of positions, investing in education for athletes, whether that's financial literacy or even some some of invested in like brand building education and brought in third party companies for that. So yeah, I mean I think that everyone's trying to figure it out right now what really the best and Il program and offerings looks like, and I think we'll probably have to wait another year to kind of gather the data and see what that looks like. But yeah, it's a it's a fun role here because so new and I get to write the blue print essentially, of what it looks like. So grateful for you to help walk us through that initial blueprints and then help catch us all to speed on what you've been building for the past year. Finally, leave us with some next steps advice for colleges maybe really learning about the space for the first time this episode. How should they be thinking about this new and Il ecosystem from both in economics in an enrollment growth standpoint right now? Yeah, it's it's been really interesting to kind of see what the different programs are, what the different institutions have done around the country in terms of nil. And again, coming back to recruiting, we saw the power five schools really jump on this early and put together, you know, the show, just a shine to use. Their locker rooms are another and I all programs are pretty shiny as well. And Yeah, so I mean for schools that are just getting started in the space. One thing I always recommend is will build a landing page on your website for any kind like for your basically to have host your institutional policy or any guidelines and guard rails that your athletes should be aware of when they go out to pursue these opportunities, and also for your local businesses and your supporters and your fans understand how they can partner with your athletes. I think that that's something that is in my mind, it is something...

...that's very simple to build out that unfortunately, a lot of schools don't have yet, and I think it's really the first step, in the simplest to start providing that guidance. I also think that if you can look, if you don't have a huge budget to bring in, you know, the third, third party companies or whatnot. Can you look internally towards, I don't know, Your Marketing Department or your law school or your business school or something like that, and see what your current courses have or what your course coalog has right now offered in terms of the other social media marketing class or branding class or whatnot, and things like that that you can kind of point athletes to if they want to learn more about the many aspects are kind of under the umbrella of and Il and I think it doesn't necessarily have to be an expensive endeavor for schools. It just involves, you know, a little bit of on a little bit of time to get those things updated and I think it will help the athletes immensely. Michelle, thank you so much of your time today. What's the best place for listeners to reach out if they have any follow up questions? Yeah, so my websites and I on Networkcom. I'm actually in the middle of a website, a vamp right now, if it's very exciting, but ton of information up there about and I don't think you and then do you want to shoot me an email? Michelle at and I on Networkcom, or you can follow me. I most active on instagram again, and I on Networkcom that I'm just sharing, you know, kid boats and steps as I come up on quote from thought leaders, that kind of thing on that account, just to keep people aware of everything that's going on in this wild space. Awesome, Michelle. Thanks so much for joining us today. Thanks are that's fun. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges. Downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've been listening to enrollment...

...growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show on Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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