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The Decision Making Behind: SLB The Agency

NIL deals are changing the landscape of college athletics

Article by Mital D. Patel

Photography by Tracy Hibben/Just Another Mom Photography

Originally published in West Knoxville Lifestyle

Last month you heard from Derrick Furlow Jr., Chris Lofton, and Fred White. The theme that echoed from their interview was all of the knowledge gained and new opportunities created since they were college athletes. In June 2019, a decision by the US Supreme Court forever changed the future of college athletes when it permitted them to make money from their own name, image, and likeness (NIL).

Many will agree with us at the agency when we say it was about time! The NCAA controlled the money generated by college athletics for years but the Supreme Court decision was a welcome disruptor in the industry. The breakdown of this monopoly has significantly benefited the players and the athletic programs utilizing NIL deals.  

Fewer than 2% of NCAA Athletes go on to be professional athletes. This statistic is surprising to many people we have encountered, but it emphasizes the excitement with the increasing opportunities that are now available to the everyday athlete. I sat down with Derrick Furlow, Jr. to understand his take on the impact of NIL contracts. 

Mital: Derrick, what impact will or has NIL contracts had on student-athletes?

Derrick: This opportunity is a gamechanger. Under the right leadership student athletes can start young to get the advantage of setting up their unique brand. They can get ahead in all aspects of life and business while they focus on their passion for the sport they love. The other 98% of athletes pour their heart, soul and time into the game and this is their chance to also use the name, image and likeness they work hard to create. 

Mital: For the parent of a student athlete, what are the benefits of educating their children on the importance of NIL contracts?

Derrick: Under the right leadership, parents will have the opportunity to help utilize these NIL contracts to provide their student athletes with more independence, opportunities and long-term security than ever before. Parents have often dedicated as much time, passion and expense into supporting their student athlete over the years and this can often be taxing to continue indefinitely (especially when they are raising a number of talented children). This is unchartered territory for many parents and daunting, nonetheless, it is a critical time to stay involved in helping navigate their children to the right leadership and team to help them. 

Mital: What about a business owner or professional in our community? What would you like them to know?

Derrick: This is a great time to be a business owner or professional. Marketing has changed drastically and we are surrounded by the power of influencers and social media promotions. NIL contracts allow these owners and professionals to scale their growth while promoting the growth of the student athletes in their respective communities. It also allows them to scale their growth by city, state or even nationally.  This is done by selecting the right athletes whose name, image and likeness align with their mission, values or product that needs promoting. 

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