How College Students Can Power Up Your NIL Marketing Deals

Editorial Team
July 14, 2023
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NIL marketing deals are an effective way to capitalize on star athletes. But have you ever thought of partnering with college students for it? Saucony, the global performance footwear and apparel brand, collaborated with nursing students—the ultimate endurance athletes! 

Back in 2021, the introduction of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) interim policies opened up a whole new world of opportunities for brands to capitalize on star athletes. These policies completely changed the game for collegiate sports, transforming college athletes into essential players in the creator economy. 

An NIL marketing deal refers to a collaboration between a brand and athlete where the brands leverage the athlete’s name, image and/or likeness to promote their products. The deal can include celebrity athletes or college athlete students. 

Now, NIL marketing deals are not only bringing in big bucks but also providing increased financial prospects for universities, brands, students, and in-house marketing teams nationwide. It's a game-changer in the influencer marketing space! 

For its latest campaign, Saucony wanted to highlight the physical side of being a nurse. So in May 2023, the brand collaborated with Galen College of Nursing, one of America's most significant nursing educators. Together they introduced the NIL Student Nurse Initiative—the first-ever NIL marketing deal for nursing school students. 

"College students can offer great potential for brands, as they represent a particular demographic and are usually more active on social media than other age groups. By targeting college students, brands can tap into a younger audience and introduce their products to a new demographic," says Marcos Isaias, Founder & CEO, Misaias, a content and digital marketing consultancy. 

Like NIL athletes, university students from different departments have a significant following on social media. That means they have the power to reach a large and engaged audience. 

"Star athletes and college students can be valuable assets for an influencer campaign. Star athletes carry a certain prestige, and their endorsement can be a powerful tool in reaching a large and engaged audience. College students, on the other hand, have a strong connection with their peers. The key is aligning with influencers who resonate with your target audience," says Harry Johns White, Marketing Manager, NBAblast website. 

NIL influencer marketing deals for college students can also be cheaper than celebrity endorsements as they are in the early stages of their careers, so their endorsement fees are usually lower. With an economic downturn and budgetary restraints, student-athletes are perfect for your NIL marketing deals. And now is the right time to dive deep into NIL marketing deals and enhance the campaign's visibility, increase social media interactions, and generate a higher engagement rate. 

Access more creative influencer marketing trends making waves in the industry. Download our latest report—Influencer Marketing Spring 2023 Report. The report highlights some of the hottest trends in influencer marketing, the latest social media updates, and top brands and influencers of Instagram across nine countries. 

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