The NCAA Division I Council recently revised its Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules. College athletes are no longer thought of as amateurs. The rule change allows for the athlete to be treated as a professional player and enjoy the perks that come with that. They have the right to accept branding deals, endorse products from high-profile companies, and play for the school that offers them the best enticements.
What does this mean for female athletes?
The past has often seen female athletes treated like an afterthought. Endorsements went to the male athletes and skipped over the majority of their female counterparts. Fortunately, that is changing with the new NIL rules in place.
Advertisers are noticing female collegiate athletes
Female collegiate athletes are finally being noticed, especially the ones who have a strong social media presence. Endorsement offers are pouring in for everything from athleisure wear to beverages. The women are jumping at the offers, eager to finally get a piece of the pie that for so long was only offered to male athletes.
What’s the problem?
The problem with these endorsements is that these female athletes are often held to Hollywood standards of beauty. Male athletes are not expected to make pouty-lipped “duck faces” at the camera, yet this is often expected from female athletes. Pouty lips, flawless skin and hair, and barely-there clothing has nothing to do with athletic ability. If true equality is to occur when it comes to NIL, the sexualization of female athletes must be left behind.
Clearly, female collegiate athletes would benefit from having the right representation. As women try to navigate these new NIL waters, they should seek out experienced legal guidance.