The NIL Era is Here
For 111 years, college athletes have played in the NCAA without pay. For years, college athletes have been asking for the right to make money for being themselves. As of yesterday, that’s finally possible.
The fight for collegiate athletes to get paid off of their own Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) has been won by the collegiate athletes. It didn’t take long for athletes to start announcing deals and start to sign up with platforms built for athletes to connect with brands and sponsors. What are these platforms? Which athletes are on which platforms?
First, athletes are allowed to be on multiple platforms and most of these platforms operate differently and have different purposes. I won’t say one platform is better than another for any reason because they’re all unique, genuinely.
DreamField is one of the newest but biggest names already on the market. Why? The co-founders are college football players themselves. Florida State QB McKenzie Milton and Miami QB D’Eriq King have quickly established themselves as a place for athletes to go to market themselves.
DreamField allows athletes to sign up and set their own hourly price. You can book athletes for as little as 15 minutes with an incredibly easy booking process. The majority of athletes using DreamField right now are in southern states, but I expect that to change very soon.
Top Athletes on Dreamfield: D’Eriq King, McKenzie Milton, Matt Corral, Kennedy Brooks, Michael Penix Jr., Nolan Smith
If you listen to Locked On Gators, you know about Icon Source already. If you don’t listen to Locked On Gators, shame on you. Icon Source has a team of former athletes and marketing experts at the helm and have been preparing for the NIL era for some time now.
Using Icon Source, there are seemingly no set prices to speak to athletes. A brand creates an opportunity and sets the price they are willing to pay for the opportunity. The brand can then send offers to athletes.
Icon Source currently has over 2,000 college athletes (and over 2,000 pro athletes) signed up and that number keeps growing. It also allows you to search by social media following minimum and maximum.
Top Athletes on Icon Source: Emory Jones, Spencer Rattler, Haley & Hanna Cavinder, Kendall Milton, Malachi Moore
OpenDorse is another NIL platform that has plenty of athletes signed up already. On OpenDorse, you can click on an athletes name and if they’ve set up their profile, you see a starting price point and what they’re willing to agree to do.
OpenDorse has become increasingly popular among the Big Ten, with schools like Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Nebraska having their presence felt. It’s also important to note that many Ohio State athletes start at $0, which I love because it shows they’re open to negotiate.
OpenDorse is also the only website I’ve seen that you can sort by who has the most reach on social media platforms.
Top Athletes on OpenDorse: Shareef O’Neal, Chris Olave, Spencer Rattler, Graham Mertz, Adrian Martinez
JenLoop appears to be one of the much more niche NIL platforms, designed specifically for shout outs as opposed to full blown endorsement deals. It’s also a much smaller platform but has already been making it’s way through the college football ranks has started to pick up some steam.
JenLoop also specifies that it is built for both fans and brands to connect with athletes, with different price points being set for personal or business shout outs. Small but mighty, JenLoop is growing to become increasingly more popular amongst SEC athletes.
Top Athletes on JenLoop: Diwun Black, Leon O’Neal Jr, Marcus Dumervil, Amarius Mims, Jordan Battle
MatchPoint is a unique NIL platform that has grown considerably since I signed up yesterday morning. What makes MatchPoint unique? Most platforms are for the brand to reach out to athletes to set up deals but on MatchPoint, athletes are given an easy way to reach out to brands with deals and offer their services.
True go-getter athletes will likely be on MatchPoint sooner rather than later and will be able to directly contact brands they want to support and work with. So far, LSU and Northwestern have the biggest presence felt on the app.
Top Athletes on MatchPoint: Chris Bergin, Myles Brennan, Garrett Nussmeier, Ryan Hilinski, Cade York. Derek Stingley Jr. is rumored to be joining.
For MOGL, I can’t say a ton about it as I’m waiting for my account to get approved so that I can dig more into it. I do know that it’s two biggest behind-the-scenes folk are Brandon Wimbush, a former Notre Dame QB, and Notre Dame alum Ayden Syal.
MOGL was the first official NIL company that I remember hearing about. They’ve been on this train since at least February.
Top Athletes on MOGL: Isaiah Foskey, TBD
Klout Machine is another unique NIL marketplace. It’s the newest platform I’ve heard of. I’m still trying to get more in-depth on all of the details but they have a unique concept that at the very least, looks fun.
Klout Machine assigns a Klout Score to athletes on a scale of 0-100. The score is made up of Market Score, Position Based Value, Social Engagement, Hometown Score, Viewership Value, Hancock Ratio, and the KM Silent Factor.
Top Athletes on Icon Source: TBD