EAST LANSING, Mich. —
The world of collegiate sports racks up billions of dollars worth of revenue each year from broadcasting, endorsements, merchandising and more. For the first time, college athletes across the country are now able to get a piece of the pie.
On the heels of the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of student-athletes, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced an interim policy that will allow college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
“With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level. The current environment — both legal and legislative — prevents us from providing a more permanent solution and the level of detail student-athletes deserve,” Emmert said in a release Wednesday.
Michigan joined other states in announcing legislation that would permit student-athletes to benefit from their names, images and likenesses back in December. The legislation is set to go into effect in December 2022.
Courtney Altemus spent years on Wall Street as a financial adviser before she relinquished her licenses to start up her own financial education and financial advisory due diligence firm, Team Altemus in Philadelphia.
“This has been discussed for decades, really, in college sports. It’s even more historic because we’re entering this with no uniform regulations,” Altemus said.
Just a week before the NCAA’s sweeping announcement, Michigan State University rolled out its ‘EverGreen’ curriculum program to help student-athletes navigate new business opportunities.
Today we are excited to introduce EverGreen, Michigan State Athletics’ Name, Image, and Likeness Solution.— Michigan State Athletics (@MSU_Athletics) June 24, 2021
“Effectively they are becoming their own entrepreneurs, which is no different than their peers at their universities, it's just the first time that student-athletes are able to participate and be paid for it,” Altemus said.
MSU is partnering with Team Altemus, Anomaly Sports Group and #INFLCR to advise and educate students who choose to take on endorsements.
“Michigan State saw the need for, you know, not just a classroom of finance one on one, or taxes or credit, or you know, contract terms, but saw the need to really help more and get their student-athletes, some expertise, and some tools,” Altemus said.
The EverGreen curriculum zeroes in on branding, financial management and contract analysis while encouraging Spartans to explore entrepreneurial ventures.
“There are great opportunities, but a lot of dangers if they don’t know what they’re doing and there should be no rush,” Altemus said.
For parents like Robert McIntosh, who lives in DeWitt, bringing business deals into the college selection process is a new frontier.
“This is all so new to me that I really don't understand how it's going to work. And I don't think a lot of people do,” McIntosh said. “They're trying to, you know, manage it the best they can at this point and keep the kids focused on what's important.”
McIntosh is no stranger to the college recruitment process. His daughter is a third-year rower at Michigan State but one change he saw in his son’s recruiting process was the focus on branding.
“I was actually really surprised how far ahead of the curve, the schools we visited were, they'd already signed up with consulting companies to help you know, the kids make the best use of this opportunity to help them with branding and tying that branding to social media,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh’s son Tommy will play his senior football season as a DeWitt Panther before signing his letter of intent to play football as a University of Wisconsin Badger. Growing up in Lansing, McIntosh remembers looking up to college athletes but never like this before.
“I remember when Magic Johnson would do the Quality Dairy commercials,” McIntosh said. “I made my mom go out and get bagged milk from Quality Dairy because Magic Johnson told me to. So I do remember it, but I never figured it would get to this point now.”
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