Blog Post - Name Image and Likeness

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                                                               City of Burlington

Economic Development Department

November 01, 2022

Economic Development and Name, Image, & Likeness

NC Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order allowing college athletes the ability to profit off their name, image, and likeness in June of 2021. With the change in NCAA rules and state policies, virtually every collegiate student athlete can pursue endorsement income. What does this mean for local businesses? This could be a prime opportunity for your business to gain greater exposure and create awareness of your products or services. 

You should be familiar with the various factors that lead to athletes scoring endorsements. Forbes notes the importance of the size and quality of an athlete’s social media. To be an effective model for a brand, athletes must have a strong social media presence. A greater number of followers leads to a heightened visibility for your brand, which could lead to an increased number of sales. Additionally, athletes who can emotionally connect with their audiences through their charismatic personalities are poised to boost their followership.

Another area where businesses could benefit from the NIL ruling is an athlete’s need for quality brand management. Not all students are skilled in social media management, therefore some parents may be more inclined to seek external services to help build their child’s social media presence. Athletic talent is only part of the equation for a candidate for endorsement, while social media usage holds a significant amount of weight on the success of athletes in acquiring deals. Here lies an opportunity for local branding agencies to partner with individual students to help market them for potential endorsements.  

NC State has already developed ALPHA, in partnership with NC State Entrepreneurship, a program that focuses on equipping and supporting Wolfpack student-athletes with resources to maximize their personal brands. NC Central University launched ELEVATE, an education program powered by industry leader INFLCR to assist Eagles student-athletes in the management of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) activities. Elon University updated their NIL policy on July 14, 2021, and posted it on their athletics website.  

According to Patrick Rishe, most student-athletes will end up signing endorsement deals with local/regional companies. This is where your opportunity lies! Check out an Elon sporting event to scope out your next brand ambassador! 


Chandler Vaughan, Project Manager, EYOS Fellow

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City Contact

Chandler Vaughan 

425 S. Lexington Ave. 

Burlington, NC27215