Florida State has announced its Name, Image and Likeness partner, joining up with a group called Apex to help get the ball rolling on what will amount to college athletes’ first chance to get paid for their following.
From the press release:
The program is unlike any in college athletics. It was developed through a unique educational partnership with FSU’s Jim Moran Institute, the nation’s first stand-alone entrepreneurship college at a public university, FSU’s nationally renowned College of Business, and the Academic Center for Excellence, which will offer two for-credit academic courses that each include instruction on NIL-related topics. Apex will offer Seminole student-athletes the opportunity to elevate their social media reach by utilizing the services provided by INFLCR, an industry leading content creation software platform supporting more than 800 teams and more than 30,000 athletes.
“I am extremely proud of the comprehensive nature of the Apex program,” said FSU Vice President and Director of Athletics David Coburn. “The cornerstone principle from the start of this process was to educate our student-athletes, and education plays a central role in every aspect of Apex. We believe we are the only Power Five school in the nation that will offer two for-credit courses in NIL education. By partnering with the FSU College of Business, the Jim Moran Institute and INFLCR, we will provide a complete educational process from which our student-athletes will benefit immediately and throughout their lives.”
What is NIL?
An acronym of Name, Image and Likeness, the term has been attached to the recent movement of athletes looking to be compensated for, at the very least, their own personal brand. Potential points of revenue range from sponsorships to apparel to situations such as the former UCF kicker who lost eligibility due to running a video gaming livestream channel.
What does a partner provide?
LSU and Texas were two of the first schools to announce partnerships with a company to help provide NIL services — a group called Altius Sports which includes Oliver Luck amongst its members.
The company says that through “consulting, strategic planning, compliance support, and education, we support all stakeholders – athletic departments, coaches, and student-athletes – with the resources they need to thrive in this new age of college athletics.”
To put it simply — a partner will help athletes find brands to help promote on their social channels and other ways to promote the individual.
How will this help Florida State — and more specifically, recruiting?
It’s not fair to say this is unprecedented — as mentioned above, two big-name programs in LSU and Texas have already made moves towards preparation for the new era of college athletics. While the NCAA has yet to still make an official policy change on the matter, laws in California and Florida are set to go into effect in a relatively short time frame — with Florida’s bill set to go into effect in July.
“Florida’s Intercollegiate Athlete Compensation and Rights bill goes into effect July 1, and from day one, we will be ready to assist our student-athletes in pursuing all the rights provided to them under the law,” said Coburn. “Apex is structured to allow student-athletes to maximize their NIL potential while in college and help them graduate with less debt, assist their families and prepare for the next chapter in their lives.”
It’s easy to assume that the bulk of the cash would flow towards FSU’s football program and perhaps one or two presumed basketball lottery picks — but athletes across all programs (at all schools) maintain high social media followings, with former FSU soccer player Deyna Castellanos currently repping 1.5 million followers.
Here are some stats on FSU social followings from the school:
- Florida State football has more followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook than any school in the state and the second-most in the ACC with more than 1.3M combined followers.
- Both FSU basketball programs have the most Twitter followers of any school in Florida.
- FSU’s main athletic social accounts have more than 770,000 followers.
- The FSU soccer Twitter account is the most followed of any collegiate program in the country.
- The FSU golf Twitter account is #4 among all women’s golf programs.
- The women’s tennis account ranks #6 and the swimming & diving Twitter account is the 8th-most followed.
- Three other FSU sport’s Twitter accounts are top 15 nationally and two more rank among the top 25.
Instantly, FSU becomes a program that offers not just a top 15 public university experience, but also one that can offer you real-time income and education on building a brand, marketing, and navigating the world of sports media.