As college athletics continue lớn grapple with the implementation of a fair & balanced set of rules for student-athletes khổng lồ monetize their Name, Image & Likeness (NIL), the question of just how much money they could generate has been the subject of much speculation. In a continued effort to lớn provide intercollegiate leaders with key insights, teamed up with Navigate Research – one of the most trusted sources of media, marketing, & sponsorship valuations in the industry – to determine how much student-athletes can make off their NIL in both group licensing và free-market scenarios. 

Several existing valuation benchmarks can be used to define ranges of compensation for various usages of NIL in both college athletics and professional sports. The simplest starting point for analysis is group licensing, where data is readily available on giao dịch between clip game manufacturers and professional sports unions. Recent legal settlements involving student-athletes also provide valuation guidance. 

The NFL và MLB Players Associations receive approximately $120 million in combined annual revenue from licensing đơn hàng with video game publishers Electronic Arts Inc. Và Sony Corp, and trading-card maker Panini America Inc, which equates to approximately $48,000 per-player each year. On the upper-end, Take-Two Interactive will pay the National Basketball Association và its players’ union as much as $1.1 billion over the next seven years to lớn continue making NBA 2K, which works out to $400,000 per-player annually.

Bạn đang xem: Everything you need to know about the ncaa and nil debate


From a collegiate athlete standpoint, last year Electronic Arts agreed khổng lồ pay approximately $40 million to more than 29,000 current & former players. The payments averaged out to lớn $1,200 per student-athlete, with a maximum payment of $7,200, depending on the number of games in which they appeared and whether they were closely identified in those games. 

Game publishers typically pay licensing fees lớn the major sports leagues ranging from 10% khổng lồ 15% of a game’s revenue. EA Sports executive Joel Linzner testified that the NCAA football game generated approximately $80 million per year in revenue on the sale of approximately 2 million units. Dividing $80 million among slightly more than 11,000 student-athletes in FBS football, và then multiplying by 15% would in turn give you a licensing fee of approximately $1,000 per student-athlete. Interestingly, without the licensing fee, the per-player value of the trò chơi (revenue / student-athlete pool) yields the approximately $7,200 per-student athlete – equivalent khổng lồ the upper limit payment used in the settlement.

We can also reference apparel licensing deals both within professional and collegiate sports to assess the range of compensation student-athletes might receive. Nike’s licensing khuyễn mãi giảm giá with the NBA is for a reported $1 billion over 8 years, for an Average Annual Value (AAV) of $125 million, which works out to approximately $275,000 per-player annually. On the collegiate side, if we average the vị trí cao nhất 10 most valuable apparel đơn hàng in college athletics, we get an AAV of about $8,000,000 per school, which when divided by an average of 750 student-athletes, gives us an approximate value of $10,000 per-student athlete. 

Thus from a licensing standpoint, the annual NIL value per student-athlete could range from $1,000 – $10,000, whereas professional athletes garner between $50,000 – $400,000 for the same group usage licenses. 


Developing a methodology to estimate what student-athletes can earn through miễn phí market endorsements and other usages of their NIL is not necessarily a straightforward affair. Many variables exist, the biggest being how giao dịch will be brokered, và whether the school and/or NCAA will receive a share of the revenue. That being said, if we assume student-athletes are compensated at the same rates as professional athletes based on their popularity & reach, we can use Instagram followers as a proxy khổng lồ come up with market rates for each athlete. 

By analyzing what the world’s top 100 professional athletes make from their endorsements portfolios (almost always consisting of multiple brands), we found a value of around $0.80 per Instagram follower, on average. When applied khổng lồ Instagram followers for college athletes from the 2019-2020 school year, annual endorsement revenue estimates would be $700,000 for LSU’s Joe Burrow, $440,000 for Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, $390,000 for Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts & in the $5K – $30K range for less popular athletes. 


When examining the promotional fee that celebrities và athletes like Kim Kardashian & Christiano Ronaldo are charging for sending out commercialized Instagram posts, the average price is $0.006 per Instagram follower or $6 CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). If applying the same rate of per-follower compensation lớn collegiate athletes, we estimate that athletes lượt thích UCLA’s Madison Kocian & UNC’s Cole Anthony would generate approximately $4000 per Instagram post. Duke’s Cassisus Stanley and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence would earn $3000 per post, Less popular athletes would earn in the range of $100 – $500 per post

Income earned by Twitch streamers also provides a similar benchmark; streamers with more than 800,000 followers and 10,000 concurrent viewers earn around $20,000 a month, equating lớn about $.02 per follower per month. Ninja – the highest paid Twitch streamer – is estimated to lớn earn over $5 million a year, while other đứng đầu streamers lượt thích Shroud and DrLupo earn between $2 and $3 million yearly. 

Using the methodology described above, và Navigate have compiled a menu of some of college sports most valuable student-athletes based on yearly endorsement revenue potential (Instagram Followers x $0.80 Endorsement Value). The list includes a sampling of athletes that are top in their respective sports. One potentially surprising takeaway from our analysis is that many of the most popular female athletes would likely be able to lớn generate as much – if not more – endorsement revenue than their male counterparts based on social reach. Indeed, by our estimates, the UCLA women’s gymnastics team alone could be worth as much as $1,250,000 annually in endorsement revenue, including generating almost $10,000 per team wide sponsored Instagram posts pushed out via a platform lượt thích Inflcr. 


Many student-athletes have leveraged their notoriety in high school & youth sports khổng lồ accumulate massive followings on social truyền thông channels, regardless of the thể thao they play in. Indeed, as the next class of gen Z student-athletes enters college, they are bringing more & more social followers with them.

The incoming 2020 freshman class has a number of male và female student-athletes who would easily slide into the top 10 of potential endorsement revenue before they ever play a trò chơi in college. In fact, California’s Jalen Green & Josh Cristopher – who has yet khổng lồ commit – will bring with them more social truyền thông media followers than any current student-athlete.


It’s worth pointing out that Olympic athletes – given their amateur status – provide a similar benchmark, as the USOC awards $38,000 for every gold medal, $22,000 for silver and $15,000 for bronze, which falls within the range of what the average student-athlete would receive based on the above described methodology. That being said, 24-year-old Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin earns more than $3 million in endorsements from the likes of Red Bull, Oakley và Longines, while 22-year-old swimmer Katie Ledecky signed a $7 million khuyễn mãi giảm giá with TYR Sport.

Xem thêm: Nghĩa Của Từ Extended Là Gì : Định Nghĩa, Ví Dụ Trong Tiếng Anh

While it’s unlikely that any student-athlete would garner such high numbers, NIL will create a much larger pool of potential Olympic sport athletes to lớn endorse brands interested in reaching their target customer. 

There is no way of knowing exactly how much student-athletes will be able khổng lồ garner for their NIL, especially in uncertain economic times where the continued threat of COVID will almost certainly have a deflationary effect on brands willingness to lớn spend large amounts of dollars in sponsorship, whether on the professional or amateur levels. That being said, these projections do show the possibility of substantial amounts of money that student-athletes can generate from NIL deals, which means there may be a new and lucrative frontier of revenue opportunities for college athletics programs to lớn explore to lớn help mitigate possible budget deficits in the coming years.