Sponsor insights

Partnership Reports

NIL Marketing Partnerships Report 2023–24

March 20, 2024

The sponsorship landscape underwent a monumental transformation in 2021 with the introduction of Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) policies, which enabled student–athletes to monetize their personal brands for the very first time. Since the implementation of NIL, the collegiate sports industry has witnessed a flurry of activity, with athletes engaging in endorsements, sponsorships, and personal brand initiatives.

In this report, we explore key aspects of the NIL landscape, including leading athletes by number and growth of deals, prominent conferences and colleges, brand investment strategies, social media engagement, distribution of NIL across sports, and so much more.

Some highlighted stats include:

  • 35% of brands invest exclusively in NIL athletes versus major pro sports athletes
  • Hey Dude Shoes has the highest volume of NIL deals with 78 deals across all sports
  • Apparel & Accessories is the most active category in NIL with 591 deals
  • Football accounts for the majority of NIL deals, representing 30% of the total number of deals
  • Women athletes average a higher number of brand deals than men athletes (3.5 versus 2.5)
  • Alex Glover leads the pack of collegiate athletes with 41 NIL deals activated in the past 12 months
  • Angel Reese has the highest follower growth across her social media accounts

The almost 2,500 NIL deals across the five college conferences with the largest number of deals exemplify the pivotal change in college athletics over the past three years, so we’re thrilled to unveil our Name, Image, Likeness Marketing Partnerships 2023–24 Report. Authored by SponsorUnited’s Marketing and Analytics teams, the report encompasses more than 1,750 brands, 3,000 sponsorship deals, and 3,150 posts by NIL athletes from February 23, 2023 to February 23, 2024.

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