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NIL Industry Growth

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Exponential Growth For NIL

This week, we’re investigating the projected growth of the NIL industry. NIL has already grown significantly in its first year of existence, but the projections say this is only the start of the industry’s massive growth. We took a dive into the numbers and trends so you can know what to expect as NIL continues to develop.

According to Opendorse data, NIL was a $917 million industry in its first year, and it’s projected to easily clear $1 billion in its second year. That growth will come due to a number of factors, but we have highlighted some of the major ones below.

More Brands Entering The Space

People may question how much room NIL has to grow, but it’s evident that despite the early success of NIL, there are still many opportunities to come. We have seen major brands step into NIL, but there are also many who are yet to enter the space, or have only experimented with it in minor ways. As with any new industry, some brands are going to be more cautious than others, and as NIL continues to prove itself to be largely beneficial for brands, more and more will jump on board.

Personal Branding

As NIL becomes more integral to the very definition of college athletics over time, there will be a rise in the number of athletes entering NIL deals. While there are many athletes who jumped right into NIL right off the bat, there were many athletes who were not sure of how to best capitalize on this new opportunity. As athletes enter college more prepared for how to capitalize on their NIL and become increasingly aware of the importance of personal branding, the number of deals, and the value of the industry as a whole, will only continue to rise.

Athlete Marketing

Evolving marketing strategies are also paving the way for growth in NIL. As we mentioned in our last post, athlete marketing is an incredible option for growing brands because athletes cultivate stronger communities and receive more engagement than traditional influencers. 67.6% of NIL activities come in the form of social media posting, and with more opportunities than ever for athletes to build an engaged community of fans on apps like Instagram, TikTok, and more, athlete partnerships have never made more sense for brands.

What’s Next?

With more brands entering the space, athletes becoming more cognizant of their personal brands, and the success of athlete marketing through social media, it’s evident that the NIL space is only going to grow. As the numbers tell us, Name, Image, and Likeness in college sports is soon to be a Billion dollar industry, and it’s not stopping there.

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