College football is just around the corner and that means it’s the start of a new year for college athletics. As athletic programs across the country adjust to the new realities of name, image and likeness, student-athletes are anxious to understand how to take advantage of NIL without jeopardizing their scholarship.
When this academic year begins, athletic departments are likely to face a mountain of inquiries with student-athletes seeking help with understanding what’s in and out of bounds. Unfortunately, most institutions are likely too overwhelmed to handle these inquiries in a constructive way. Compliance and athletic departments were already overwhelmed prior to NIL, but this new landscape only creates more work with the same level of staff.
Of course, the biggest challenge with NIL is the fact that there is no national standard in place. And in some cases, the state, athletic conference and institution can each have their own rules. So far, this has created confusion among institutions that lack the financial resources to curate the various regulations. This is to say that despite a lack of centralized regulations, institutions can’t afford to run away from this problem. They need to be a resource for student-athletes to learn how to maximize their use of NIL, in addition to understanding issues related to financial literacy, time management and taxes.
Fortunately, chatbots can take much of the burden off compliance staff and athletic directors while providing student-athletes with information critical to allowing them to profit off their brand.
While there are many ways that AI Chatbots can support athletics departments, here are five use cases where they can help with name, image and likeness:
Help students submit paperwork for NIL deals
If your institution requires approval prior to signing off on NIL deals, chatbots are great for helping you streamline these requirements. Chatbots can proactively reach out when certain forms are due and notify student-athletes when they can officially sign their contract. This allows your compliance department to spend more time on more complex deals where more consultation is required.
Communicate all policies through a single source
Until Congress passes a national standard for name, image and likeness, there will be inconsistencies with policy. For now, student-athletes are left with several different kinds of regulation based on the location of the institution. However, instead of forcing students to read a variety of documents and handbooks from disparate sources, chatbots allow students to get all the information they need from a single source of truth.
Provide contact information for trusted advisors and agencies
High profile athletes may struggle to discern trusted advisors from those looking to take advantage of them. However, there is no shortage of trusted connections available. It’s just a matter of finding them. Chatbots can help student-athletes locate relevant contact information so they aren’t distracted from academic and athletic performance.
Connect athletes with training materials to improve their branding.
Without formal marketing consultation, student-athletes may not receive the type of compensation they expect from NIL. Growing a social media following and proving influence in the community are leading indicators for brands that a student-athlete is marketable for their audience. Since many institutions don’t have the financial resources to hire independent marketing consultants, chatbots can help student-athletes find approved resources so they can continue to grow their following.
Catch up on relevant NIL presentations
Since student-athletes have busy practice schedules and can’t attend all speaking sessions, chatbots provide the necessary technology to recall sessions on-demand. This allows them to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and regulations as it relates to NIL without sacrificing time out of their busy academic and athletic schedules.
As we’ve seen from NIL so far, the landscape of college sports is dramatically shifting for athletes regardless of the sport or conference they play in. In fact, recent studies show that even student-athletes at the Division III level are capitalizing on the new world that this policy has to offer.
Yet if student-athletes expect to keep up, they need information at their fingertips, fast. By investing in technology such as AI chatbots, students can get information in less time while easing the burden off compliance and athletic departments alike.
Need to see an NIL chatbot in action? Get a free consultation to see how chatbots can help improve your NIL communications.