College athletes have been trying to profit off their image and likeness for years. It was not until this past summer that the NCAA finally passed a new law that college athletes can now profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Social media now plays a huge role in helping student-athletes find a way to partner with brands and is now the most obvious way for a company to contact an athlete. The most popular way that companies have been contacting athletes is through direct messages. 

Saint Joseph’s University Athletic Director, Jill Bodensteiner sat down for an interview to clarify the new laws regarding NIL. She was one of four athletic directors that were appointed to evaluate the future of NIL and has been an active guidance for all the athletes here at Saint Joseph’s throughout the entire process. 

“To me, it’s less about profit…it’s more about boosting your resume, understanding the marketplace, and boosting your personal brand on social media,” Bodensteiner said when asked if every athlete should look to profit off social media.

For the athlete, they need to be a lot smarter with what they are posting. Their account is like a poster for brands and if they see anything that does not represent their brand well, companies won’t partner with the athlete. 

She also noted that her worst fear for athletes is “FOMO” (fear of missing out) and feeling like they have to be partnering with a brand because they can profit off their NIL. 

Bodensteiner mentioned that Saint Joseph’s athletes can use their NIL as a way to promote themselves for a job. They can mention how they are Division I athletes and are looking to find a job or offer lessons in their sport. This opens a whole new door for them to use social media and be able to grow their name recognition.

Saint Joseph’s athletes sat down with Bodensteiner to help make sure they understand the law and its details. Working with Saint Joseph’s campus partners, she was able to create educational briefs ranging from copyright issues to considerations when starting a sports camp.

“We’ve been very focused on education… on the little things like the FTC says the athletes need to be using the product if they are endorsing it… it seems so easy but both how do I get started and what are the pitfalls”. Bodensteiner’s response to some of the challenges student-athletes are facing.

Now that the NIL is in place and college athletes all over the country are profiting off themselves, it makes the use of social media much more important. Bodensteiner is helping Saint Joseph’s athletes make the most of this opportunity and guiding them along the way.

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