This Nike Bronny James NIL deal was a big deal for women as well.

INDIANAPOLIS, MARCH 6: Iowa defenseman Caitlin Clark (22) raises her hands to cheer from the crowd during the women’s Big Ten Tournament Championship college basketball game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Iowa Hawkeyes on March 6, 2022 at the Gainbridge Field House in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Sports wire icon | Sports wire icon | Getty Images

LeBron’s son James Bronnie has made most of the headlines, but there’s another big story in Nike’s recent NIL deal to let college athletes get paid. At a time of heightened scrutiny of the pay gap between male and female athletes, the Nike deals show amateur and peer athletes are emerging as winners in the early days of the NIL era.

“I think it reflects the broader movement that we’re seeing in sports. I think it’s a payback, albeit a slow payback, that there’s more opportunity, more interest,” said Patrick Richet, director of the sports business program at the University of Washington.

University of Iowa point guard Caitlin Clark, Stanford University guard Hayley Jones, and Sierra Canyon High School quarterback Juju Watkins are the three basketball players signed to NikeNewly signed NIL endorsement deal with Sierra Canyon High School point guard Bronnie James and Camden High School security guard DJ Wagner.

“I grew up watching Nike athletes in all sports play their game. They inspired me to work hard and make a difference. Nike release.

Women’s athletic success at the start of the NIL era

Since the introduction of the NIL (name, likeness and likeness) structure to allow amateur athletes to seek approval for deals, which was enacted in July 2021 following a landmark Supreme Court decision, the hope has been that female athletes will benefit significantly.

“I think most people knew that female athletes in particular would see great opportunities,” Richet said.

Tracking trades from NIL execution through September 30 this year, women’s basketball ranks third among NIL-compensated sports, according to technology company NIL and marketplace Opendorse. In total, 12.6% of NIL compensation goes to women’s basketball, the sport second only to men’s basketball (18.9%) and soccer (49.6%).

Despite the large gap between NIL compensation for soccer players and all other athletes, Opendorse data shows the potential for more growth in women’s sports. Six women’s sports ranked in the top 10 NIL-compensated sports, and women’s basketball, volleyball, and softball surpassed baseball, the third-highest-grossing men’s sport.

“The brands we work with are very clear that they want to ensure full representation of the athletes they work with in a campaign. They specifically ask for a diverse representation of athletes in different sports [and] equal representation of men and women,” said Lisa Bregman, Senior Director of Market Success at Opendorse.

Nike, which has with a strong presence in college sports merchandising, is investing more in the growth of the womenswear business through partnerships with colleges.

Both local and global brands see potential in supporting collegiate athletes, and even though lucrative football deals lead by a wide margin, 12 players have deals worth over $1 million and 50 players have deals worth $500,000 or more. according to On3 sports data – the number of companies entering into NIL contracts with female athletes is growing.

“We’re seeing more of our football and basketball players doing bigger cash deals,” Rutgers University softball player Kayla Bock said. But she added: “There are companies that are actively looking for women and are involved in a specific sport.”

Bock and a total of eight female student athletes recently signed a NIL deal with the New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco) in honor of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, part of the federal Department of Education’s 1972 amendments banning sexual activity. discrimination in any school or any other educational program funded by the federal government.

NIL deals expand career opportunities for female athletes.

“Many of these women do not have the team sport-level opportunities that their male counterparts have professionally. years later,” Riche said. “That’s why it’s interesting, but not surprising, that many female college athletes are getting various and sometimes lucrative NIL deals.”

The presence of women in social networks influences transactions

Clarke is the tenth highest earning female college basketball player and Jones is ranked twelfth by the On3 Women’s College Basketball Rankings. While deals with Nike will likely help these players rise in the ranks, the responsibility for maintaining their newfound glory falls on the athletes as well.

“This creates a great platform and a lot of motivation for any student-athlete who does a NIL deal, but in particular, [for] athletes to hone their brand, polish it, improve it,” Richet said.

Athletes who sign the NIL can make up for the lack of attention historically given to women’s sports by focusing on growing their social media following and engagement.

A 2021 Pew Research Center study found that women use social media 12% more than men, and companies are acknowledging this as more zero-income deals are signed. Companies want to partner with student athletes who can effectively market their brand, and they know that with the younger generation, there is no better way to do this than through social media.

With the exception of football, Opendorse found that NIL compensated female athletes were 19.6% more involved in social media for their trades than their male counterparts.

“Knowing that women tend to be more active and engaged on social media, and knowing that these deals and the true opportunity to build your brands is really in this space has allowed female athletes to stand out,” Bregman said.

Whether it’s posting a photo of the new Liquid IV product or sharing an Adidas discount code with friends and family, Bok is enjoying the benefits of NIL deals as well as the growing recognition of her athletic ability and women’s sport in general.

“Just the difference between [viewership for the] The Men’s College Baseball World Series and the Women’s College Softball World Series, I mean the women blew the men out of the water. So if we’re talking about women’s sports in general, I think it’s becoming more and more important,” Bok said. “We get the attention we deserve right from the start.”

Future Impact on College Sports Business

Even after the 50th anniversary of Title IX, girls are still missing out on one million high school athletic opportunities and women are missing out on 60,000 college athletic opportunities, the Women’s Sports Foundation found in a recent study. But the growing number of NIL deals for female athletes is drawing more attention and hope that compensation for women’s sports will continue to rise in the future.

“If these women succeed on the court and they manage to build their brand off the court, especially through social media, it certainly has the potential to increase visibility for women’s basketball,” Riche said of Nike’s deal with Clarke. , Jones and Watkins. “The more student athletes do this for the women’s game, the more it could impact corporate partnership agreements and even media rights deals that women’s basketball can command and the universities or individual schools these young women play at.” “.

According to the 2022 NCAA State of Women in Collegiate Sports report, Division I athletic programs continue to spend almost twice as much on men’s teams as they do on women’s, and Divisions II and III show similar but less severe gaps. A successful NIL deal could encourage colleges to allocate more funds to women’s sports.

“Women will now have this new platform where they can activate and I think it will inevitably have a bigger impact on the sport they play,” Bregman said.

Athletes are already doing their part to spread the word about the future of women in sports and as public figures.

“It is our turn to continue to pave the way for the generation that will come after us, and this is not only in sports, but also in the classroom. With NIL deals, you can now really touch something like that,” Bock said.

Nike remains top teen clothing brand, Piper Sandler poll reveals

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button