The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team just won the NCAA championship, and their star point guard Destanni Henderson’s brand Clothing By HP was ready to capitalize on her moment. During her postgame interview and after scoring a career high helping her team to victory, she was able to discuss her personal clothing line in front of a national audience.  

The benefit of NIL isn’t just the deals and sponsorships, it also allows athletes to start their entrepreneurial journey much earlier in life at a time that often is a highlight of their career.  When their opportunity comes they are already prepared to capitalize on it.  

In the past, she would’ve had to wait until after she was done being a NCAA athlete. This huge opportunity for marketing, publicity, and revenue would have been wasted.  Being in business isn’t easy, and many fail.  Opportunities like this are vital to increasing the chances of success.

Imagine climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest and then being told you’re going to have to wait until you’re no going a student to promote your company even though by then you’ll definitely not be standing on Mt. Everest, and you’ll likely not have a window of opportunity that’s quite this large.  But meanwhile, you can wear and promote all of your sponsor’s gear and your school can even sell the footage of your inspiring journey and pocket the money from all the ad revenue that’s been generated from documenting the insane amount of work you’ve put in… and not have to give you a penny.  It is utter lunacy.

“You can work for me but you cannot work for yourself'' sounds very anti-everything we stand for in society doesn’t it?

Women and minorities are most likely to benefit the most from even small boosts that decrease the hardships faced in bridging wage gaps and making economic mobility more accessible. These are also groups that are featured very prominently in the most high profile revenue generating sports in the NCAA.  Instead of robbing athletes of billions, this revenue could be the lifeline for athletes and their communities.

Every amateur star doesn’t make it to the pros, they need to be able to get paid when the opportunity is present, and we actually don’t know when this time actually is.  Athletes must be set up to capitalize on it whenever their dunk goes viral, or they win the championship and are interviewed on national television.

It just seems fair, and this is without even considering the NCAA isn’t even sharing revenue from the efforts of these athletes.

St Peters made it to the Elite 8 and their Cinderella storyline was the biggest draw of the 2022 NCAA tournament.  None of these players made a dime directly from the game, their coach got paid, and so did their school. Hopefully some deals will flow to the athletes and even better, hopefully they had their own businesses up and running to be the primary beneficiaries of their efforts. Oftentimes players who reflect on their past NCAA tournament success, often exclaim it being the highlight of their lives.  

Athletes, make sure you’re prepared for success, and if you need some assistance with getting started or just have questions, we're here to help!

Issa Hall

Tech, Sports, Business