Florida Student Athletes Will Now Get More Than Nil for NIL (Name, Image, Likeness)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has one-upped the left coast by signing a bill into law that clears the way for student athletes at Florida colleges and universities (public and private) to earn money from endorsement deals and to be paid for the use of their name, images, and likenesses (sometimes referred to as NIL), years ahead of California (the first state to enact a similar law).

While the Florida law is now technically effective, student athletes will not begin to realize its benefits until July of 2021. While this seems far off, it is two years ahead of California’s 2023 start date.

During the press conference for the signing of the bill into law, DeSantis mentioned that the Florida Board of Governors, colleges, and universities, and other involved entities will take this next year to develop a framework for how to best use the law to govern student athlete compensation. Compensation will be structured, it will not be “the wild west,” DeSantis ensured.

The Florida law will allow for student athletes to receive some compensation for endorsements, where such endorsements were previously a no-no due to the NCAA’s requirements for student athletes to maintain an amateur status by restricting student athlete compensation.

This Florida law will be a huge benefit to Florida student athletes at every level of skill and notoriety, not just the big name stars. Do you row crew at your Florida college or university and have a large following on YouTube? Now you will be able to monetize that. Do you golf for your Florida College or University and want to promote your favorite brand of putters on Instagram? The path has been cleared for you to pursue that opportunity.

Such opportunities are not without risk. Student athletes in Florida should always retain competent legal counsel to review endorsement and/or licensing deals before they are signed.

It would also be prudent to consult competent accountants and financial planners to help manage this new income, especially for athletes in sports with high risk of career ending injuries. Former Florida State University football player Corey Simon cautioned student athletes to be smart about this new income opportunity. “Strike while the iron is hot…,” Simon encouraged student athletes, “You’re gonna get some money. Don’t waste it, take care of it, make sure you have something when you leave college.”

For more information on negotiating endorsement agreements (sports or otherwise), licensing your name, image and likeness, or any other intellectual property needs, contact us at (561) 953-9300 or through our website form to schedule your free consultation.