Disclosure: Opendorse and LegalZoom coauthored these articles. The information provided herein is intended to serve as guidance, not definitive legal counsel. If there are questions, we advise you to seek legal counsel.
NIL in college athletics has uncovered a lack of legal knowledge. It’s no fault of athletes or schools – education surrounding endorsement contracts, intellectual property, and business organization was not relevant for most student-athletes prior to July 1, 2021.
There are outstanding lawyers across the country that are willing and able to help. But not every athlete needs – or can afford – personal legal counsel. Still, it is critical to understand the basics to protect yourself and your brand. LegalZoom produced a series of informative articles and resources to help you take control and safely navigate the NIL era.
An NIL deal is a contract. You and your advisors should carefully review each partnership agreement before signing. Contract language can be tricky – and can include anything from a statement of work (SOW) to an influencer agreement – so read carefully and take notes. Don’t assume a contract has your best interest in mind. Read more
Intellectual Property (IP) is “any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services.” It’s all about protecting your brand. LegalZoom products and services simplify and streamline the trademark process. Even if you don’t plan to trademark a logo or slogan, it’s important to understand the basics of IP law. Read more
If you want to take your NIL business to the next level, consider creating a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or 501(c)(3) nonprofit. There are benefits to both models and you should carefully consider your goals and vision. While it may seem overwhelming, creating an LLC or 501(c)(3) is common practice among athletes, and LegalZoom has products and services to help. Read more
NIL has more legal considerations than are covered in these articles, but this can be a starting point if you’re navigating NIL independently. Regardless of your path, protect yourself and your brand every step of the way.