High school athletes start cashing in on marketing deals after NCAA decision

High school athletes have now started reaching business deals using their name, image and likeness, or NIL, through marketing contracts.

The contracts began trickling down to high schoolers after the NCAA announced last year that it would allow student athletes to monetize through NILs.

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Basketball hoop, basketball scoring in the stadium

Currently, seven states have approved the contracts for prep athletes while some other states weigh whether the deals would harm high school sports.

New York City high school basketball stars Ian Jackson and Johnuel “Boogie” Fland have capitalized on their stardom. The two athletes ranked as top prospects for the 2024 recruiting class and receive a percentage of sales on a merchandise company’s products that use their likeness. They are also paid four-figure monthly checks to make social media posts about the brand.

Jackson, 16, is saving the money he earns from several deals in order to purchase a home for his family.

“I want to put my family in a better place,” he said.

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Johnuel “Boogie” Fland shoots hoops in the gymnasium of Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, NY, Monday, May 2, 2022. Fland is among a growing number of high school athletes who have signed sponsorship deals for their name, image and li (AP Newsroom)

Fland also said he hopes to use the money he receives to put his family in a better place financially.

“It’s been a very big deal,” he said. “All the hard work is finally paying off.”

National Federation of State High School Associations CEO Karissa Niehoff said NIL deals for high school contracts athletes could become disruptive, but explained that she does not think the would become commonplace in high school.

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Dartmouth Indians Blaine Alemeida (#12) celebrates the win as time ran out. Dartmouth vs. Melrose in the MIAA Division 3 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

“I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of this,” she said.

Niehoff also said high school “is not intended to be an opportunity to earn a living, and we hope it will stay that way.”

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The subject of NIL deals for high school athletes comes after a Supreme Court decision last summer that said the NCAA cannot prohibit college student-athletes from receiving education-related compensation benefits. After that ruling, Alaska, California, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana and Utah have established laws or policies that allow high school athletes to receive compensation for their likeness.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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