MatchPoint Connection, a Baton Rouge firm that connects brands with influencers, has facilitated $760,000 in executed contracts with LSU athletes looking to market their name, image and likeness this month alone, CEO Brian Oliver says.
For context, the company has had $1.1 million in NIL deals nationally, including this month, since July. A new Louisiana law that allows coaches to discuss the subject with their student-athletes has helped open the floodgates.
“The athletes trust their coaches,” Oliver says.
Last year, the Legislature created the state’s first NIL law, which ended up being more restrictive than the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s guidelines. Louisiana schools were put at a competitive disadvantage with those in other states with less restrictive laws or none at all.
Changes under the new state law include removing restrictions that prevented schools and their employees from facilitating NIL deals.
“We’re now able to present a deal on behalf of a brand through the coach, who then approves the transactions, and they can make it flow quicker,” Oliver says, adding that the new law has helped businesses become more willing to do endorsement deals with college athletes.
LSU is now on the same legal footing as all the schools at the top level of college athletics, he says.
Using NIL deals to woo recruits is still against NCAA rules. But the availability of deals at a school has become a key factor that recruits consider.