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As brands seek younger audiences, social media creates opportunities for brands, universities, and players.

Deloitte calculates that student-athletes with social media followings on one unspecified social media platform could collectively earn up to $35M per year from just that platform alone. From the WSJ article:  “While only a relative handful of student-athletes would be likely to score large national sponsorship contracts, many more would have opportunities to monetize their audience and grow their personal brand on a regional-, local-, or affinity-group level. … In certain geographies where professional sports lack a stronghold, a student-athlete’s endorsement potential may be more appealing to local or regional businesses. …"

If student-athletes could profit from their NIL, revenue streams would resemble those of professional athletes. That could include engaging in brand sponsorships and advertising, signing memorabilia, creating a sports-related business, engaging in speaking arrangements, and using professional representation. An initial market analysis comparing student-athletes’ social media presence to that of professional athletes provides insights into the scale of potential earnings for this group.