Thursday, January 27, 2022
In National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston (U.S. June 21, 2021), the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that NCAA rules prohibiting student-athletes from leveraging their NIL for financial compensation violate federal antitrust laws. While the landmark decision opened up financial opportunities for student-athletes, the decision also created potent regulatory and compliance challenges for potential sponsoring companies.
In response to the decision, the NCAA issued an interim policy addressing NIL, which went into effect on July 1, 2021. Under the interim policy, student-athletes can be compensated for endorsements without putting their NCAA eligibility at risk, but other forms of payment remain prohibited, such as payment to athletes by the schools for their performance. Thus, there are other important factors to consider before entering into NIL agreements.
Counsel for companies, universities, and athletes must keep in mind the various governing policies, including respective state law, NCAA procedures, and university regulations, with which the NIL relationships and agreements must comply. The last thing anyone wants to do is have an NIL agreement result in disqualification of the student-athlete from being able to perform.
Listen as our authoritative panel of intellectual property attorneys examines these trailblazing issues and the latest developments in student-athlete NIL agreements. The panel will address the key considerations for counsel and offer best practices for negotiating and structuring these agreements while ensuring compliance with NCAA regulations, university policies, state laws, intellectual property rights, and other considerations.
I. How did we get here? Recent decisions and regulations
A. NCAA v. Alston (U.S. 2021)
B. Other court decisions
C. NCAA interim NIL policies
D. State law and regulations
E. What has not changed?
II. University policies
A. What is and isn’t the role of the university?
B. What is not permitted?
C. Interaction with athletes, agents, and businesses
D. Issues involving usage rights, exclusivity, social media, etc.
E. Denials and dispute resolution process
III. Athlete considerations
A. Disclosure to the school
B. Impact on financial aid
C. Source of endorsement
D. Agency representation
E. Considering university options based on NIL opportunities
IV. Intellectual property issues
A. Athlete registration of their IP
B. Evaluating the school’s existing IP portfolio
C. Decisions about making the school’s IP and facilities available
D. Royalty decisions
E. The need to monitor and police IP use
V. Business and branding considerations
A. Risks presented by certain kinds of endorsements
B. Morals clause
C. Structuring compensation incentives
D. Individual versus team-wide opportunities
VI. Open discussion about best practices and practical takeaways
The panel will review these and other key issues:
- How has the playing field changed for student-athletes' ability to endorse goods and services?
- What key considerations should companies keep in mind before entering into an NIL agreement with student-athletes?
- What best practices should counsel employ when structuring student-athlete-involved NIL agreements?
- What are the key intellectual property, branding, and legal/NCAA compliance issues facing student-athletes, universities, and businesses?
Thursday, January 27, 2022
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