On June 30 – 115 years after its formal establishment – the NCAA suspended amateurism rules prohibiting collegiate athletes from capitalizing on their name, image and likeness (NIL). These rules were set to reform and regulate college sports, but in their suspension, college athletes in all 50 states can be compensated for their image and likeness using Athlytic.
“It’s been tens of years where players were taken advantage of. Their jerseys were being sold. Their autographs were being sold. They weren’t able to reap any benefits of playing on the collegiate level. We are here to be part of the change, and support and empower athletes.” says Athlytic co-founder, Jared Eummer.
Athyltic is a fully integrated mobile platform that connects student-athletes to brands, creating a pathway for collegiate-level athletes to monetize their name and likeness. With Athlytic, students can make profiles that highlight their stats, school and audience. Then students can connect with brands who seek them out and be paid all within the app.
Before its July 1, 2021 launch, Athlytic already secured $42,000 from the 2020 MTN DEW Real Change Opportunity fund, a million-dollar fund that invests in HBCU student-and-alumni entrepreneurs with PepsiCo partnerships. Another $42,000 was granted to Florida A&M University (FAMU) on behalf of Athlytic, followed by a $25,000 award to Keys from the Rebrand Cities pitch competition.
This will be the first time in American history that student-athletes will have the opportunity to profit from their likeness. A 2020 study at Northwestern University found that economic rents made from intercollegiate sports directly disenfranchised Black students and students from low-income neighborhoods. The study goes on to say that rent-sharing drastically “transfers resources away from students who are more likely to be Black and more likely to come from poor neighborhoods towards students who are more likely to be white and come from higher-income neighborhoods.
The NCAA’s amateurism rules have been this way since 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt founded the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), which would become the NCAA. This association enforced safety regulations on college football after 45 students died between 1900 and 1905 after sustaining neck, back and internal injuries. After college sports became highly commercialized, the term “student-athlete” was legally put in place allegedly to avoid giving workman’s compensation insurance claims to injured students.
With only 2 % of students becoming professional at the sport they play, Athlytic ensures that students will be compensated for putting their bodies on the line while juggling school. Top NCAA Division 1 schools generate $8.5 billion in yearly revenue and share less than 7 percent with students through scholarships and stipends. The NCAA’s amateurism suspension stipulates that collegiate institutions’ compensation cannot come regardless of division or size. Instead, students must use third parties – like Athlytic – to capitalize on their names.
“Our biggest thing is to support athletes and help them navigate spaces for opportunities and create a fair and equitable process for students to monetize their names,” Athlytic co-founder Ashton Keys says. “This is about people taking ownership of their name and identity.”