There Is No Nil in NIL: Examining the Social Media Value of Student-Athletes’ Names, Images, and Likeness
Sport Management Review
43 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2021
Date Written: January 22, 2021
This research contributes to our understanding of the name, image, and likeness (NIL) value of student-athletes’ social media profiles. In Study 1, we scraped data from the Twitter (Nf = 3,880; Nb =757) and Instagram (Nf = 2,223; Nb = 647) profiles of male collegiate-level football and basketball athletes. In Study 2, we scraped data from the Twitter (N =1,058; posts = 20,978) and Instagram (N = 1,410; posts = 16,453) profiles of all student-athletes of four (two top-tier and two mid-tier) representative universities. Applying influencer marketing industry standard rates, the current research shows that student-athletes possess NIL value. Results further indicate student-athletes’ NIL value has a relationship with, but is not solely generated at, the institution level. Thus, this research contributes to student-athlete personal branding knowledge and informs discussion around policy and industry practice related to student-athletes, university athletics departments, athletic conferences, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Keywords: Brands; Athlete Brand; Student-Athletes; Social Media; Collegiate Sport
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