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Can a kicker make an NIL deal?

For those of us in Wisconsin, the photo above of Badger star running back Braelon Allen in an Iron Joc ad makes us envious of the “then” seventeen year old for being one of the first to take advantage of the new NIL (Name-Image-Likeness) rules now taking over the NCAA.

Long forbidden for amateur athletes to sell their fame for fortune, today’s NIL is like the Wild West.  Almost anything goes.  But there are limits… and there are issues that young athletes (and their parents) should spend a little time considering.

Such as…

Tenet No.1 — YOU ARE A BRAND
That may sound crass, but it’s the truth.  A brand stands for something. What will you stand for?  Who is your audience? How do they want to interact with you… and how do you want to interact with them? These are very much the same rules for Nike, McDonalds and Coca Cola. If you don’t consider the thought, then you begin to simply accept what comes your way.  That sounds “neat”, but sometimes, it can put you, or someone you love, in a very bad place. What will you, or won’t your do for money?  And if you accept the money, what do you think the person spending it on you WANTS FROM YOU?

Tenet No.2 — YOU’RE IN CHARGE
This sounds similar to Tenet No.1, but the point is, you can decide what your own involvement is and how determined you wish to be with NIL.  It’s not just for the star quarterback… as a matter of fact, one of the key reasons why NIL even exists is because of a kicker!

His name is Donald de la Haye (AKA Deestroying). Donald had a scholarship at Central Florida University and had started a YouTube channel that went viral.  He started gaining subscribers… and that means YouTube ad revenue. So much so that the NCAA forced him to make a decision: de-monetize his YouTube channel or give up his scholarship. He chose to keep his YouTube channel. He’s never kicked in the NFL, but he makes more money than most NFL kickers with an estimated income of $2,000,000/year!

Going to a D1 school might get you in on “the action”, but then again, making a D1 school as a kicker is a pretty tough trick. I believe Deestroying would be as popular today had he played at a D3 school.  His personality, ability and determination to build a channel others wanted to watch is the key.  Can you even name Central Florida’s conference? Their coach? Their team mascot?  My point, exactly. It ain’t the size of the school… it’s you.

“But I’m only in high school.”

That’s true, but the idea is to understand how you might be in a position to earn some “real money”, some extra cash, or get some cool swag.  The choice is yours to make — just as it is for the captain of the robotics team or your school valedictorian. NIL gets you thinking, “Why not me?”

Are you familiar with Donald de la Haye?

Tenet No.3 — Know the Rules
NIL really is like the “Wild West” right now.  It seems like anything goes, but that’s not quite true.  Every state has a different set of guidelines.  You should get familiar with them, so that you don’t cross any grey lines…

RESOURCE LINK > NIL State Rules

Finally, you may wonder how you might get in on “the NIL action”?  Here’s a link to a blog that does a good job of explaining some ideas for monetizing “non-revenue” sports. As a kicker, this is worth a read…

RESOURCE LINK > 10 Ways to Make NIL Money in “Non-Revenue” Sports

Take a peek at these college kickers who are taking advantage of NIL

Will Reichard, Alabama
NIL Article

Cade York, LSU
NIL Article

Abe Montano, Fresno State

P.S. The real reason Deesgtroying isn’t in the NFL is because he isn’t a good enough kicker.  Period.  Welcome to the club, Donald. 🙂