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Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) partnerships can offer numerous benefits to businesses. By working with college athletes, businesses can tap into their engaged audience and personal brand, leading to increased brand awareness and revenue. A study by Opendorse, a leading NIL platform, estimates that the top 100 college football and basketball players could earn over $1 billion in combined annual income through NIL partnerships.

Investing in NIL partnerships can also positively impact economic development for a region. A report by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that NIL has the potential to “generate large and widespread economic benefits.” This is because NIL partnerships can help businesses connect with local communities and tap into their purchasing power. For example, a local restaurant could partner with a college athlete to promote a special menu item, leading to increased foot traffic and revenue. These benefits can extend beyond the immediate partnership, with increased economic activity and job creation in the surrounding area.

Partnering with smaller and regional colleges through NIL can be a smart business move. These colleges often have highly engaged local communities that can be leveraged for promotional purposes while offering more affordable partnerships compared to larger universities. A study by the University of Mississippi estimated that NIL partnerships with the school’s football players could generate up to $3.39 million in additional economic activity for the region.

Connecticut is home to several universities and colleges, including the University of Connecticut (UConn), which has a highly successful athletics program. In the 2019-2020 academic year, there were over 8,500 NCAA student-athletes in Connecticut across all three NCAA divisions. Businesses in Connecticut may be well-positioned to benefit from NIL partnerships with local college athletes.

Overall, investing in NIL partnerships can offer significant benefits for businesses while also contributing to economic development for a region. By connecting with college athletes, businesses can tap into engaged audiences and personal brands, leading to increased brand awareness and revenue. Additionally, partnerships with smaller and regional colleges can offer more affordable options while generating economic activity in the surrounding area.