New Florida law will help college athletes take their name and likeness to the bank
A new Florida law “opens the door” for college athletes to build their brand and use it to transition out of sports and into the business world after graduating, a Florida lawmaker who sponsored the legislation told Fox News.
The new law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week, allows schools and coaches to get involved with players’ name, image and likeness opportunities, allowing them to help facilitate endorsement deals for their athletes.
“The world today is very much social and digital, and people are going to have that opportunity to build that brand online and also in merchandise and things like that,” state Rep. Chip LaMarca said. “So this is an opportunity for them to start a business based on who they are.”
“There’s a lot of great opportunities that we’ve seen for female athletes, nontraditional sport male or female athletes,” the Republican continued. “And this just kind of opens the door for people to be creative.”
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Athletes cannot be induced to play at a university based on name, image and likeness deals they might receive, per NCAA regulations, But brand endorsement deals, like being a spokesperson for a car dealership or restaurant, are permitted after students sign contracts to play at the school.
“The coach or staff can now help them get endorsements from local restaurants, car dealerships, whoever is willing to sponsor that athlete,” LaMarca said.
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After signing the bill into law, DeSantis tweeted: “Two years ago, FL became one of the first states in the nation to permit student-athletes to be compensated for use of their names, image & likeness.”
The “bill I signed today will further benefit student-athletes while ensuring they’re protected from commercial exploitation,” he continued.
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The new law also requires colleges to conduct a workshop each semester covering entrepreneurship, financial literacy and other life skills.
“It’s important for them to learn not just the value of money, how to save, how to make sure that you cover your tax bill and things like that, but also how to monetize who you are,” LaMarca said. “The biggest part of what I’m proud of this bill is the entrepreneurship piece.”
To watch LaMarca’s full interview, click here,