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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

SFSU athletes enhance knowledge of NIL benefits

Student-athletes now have a chance to make money off of themselves
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Michaela Mateo
SF State athletes now have the opportunity to monetize their Name, Image, and likeness to help fund their athletics and studies. (Graphic by Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)

The recent NIL deal reshapes the new landscape towards student-athletes, affording them more of a chance to make a name for themselves by bringing money in.

NIL, an abbreviation for name, image and likeness, is a platform where college athletes can make money off of their fame whether it pertains to their skill in their respective sport or off their social media following.

Zoya Volpe, the SFSU director of compliance, reiterated there are many opportunities for college athletes to make money during their time but some things would not be able to be done.

“In terms of certain things, we do say no with very rare occasions but usually that’s just with anything to do with alcohol, sports betting, or anything having to do with marijuana, or any cannabis,” Volpe said. 

College athletes can be creative with many different opportunities that might come their way.

Sophomore goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team, Kylie Tone, mentioned a fun way of not only making money but enjoying it with her friends.

“Me and my roommates were actually talking about starting a podcast where then we can get a following and then we could get more NIL deals, especially if we talk about our sport,” Tone said. “Off the field stuff, we thought it would be funny, but that’s not even in the works right now. It’s just an idea but maybe it will happen.”

SFSU uses a platform called Opendorse, which allows college athletes to be able to put any price they want on certain services somebody might want, such as birthday shoutouts, autographs or social media posts.

“Opendorse does that, they look based on their profile on social media. They take based on everything around, look at it and see what the evaluation is,” Volpe said. “If a student wants a change [in price] if they think it’s too low, they can manually set their own prices.”

NIL opportunities give an avenue for these student-athletes to make money and also do their class work without having to cram in a regular job. They can focus on their athletics and academics.

Junior softball outfielder and catcher Marley Gonzales mentioned that NIL is very beneficial for student-athletes due to their jam-packed schedules.

“It is really beneficial because being able to fit something into your schedule, like a job is super hard as it is, but being able to make money for yourself is beneficial because you don’t have the leeway to do what you would like and you have to have your class schedule set up a certain way already because of practice,” Gonzales said. “Having little spare time to be able to make money is really nice.”

Alex Gilat, a junior guard on the men’s basketball team, explained the opportunities NIL gives to student-athletes.

“I think NIL is a great opportunity for all student-athletes to generate some form of revenue from their name, image and likeness,” Gilat said. “I personally haven’t been able to reap the same benefits, as I’m sure other athletes have due to our level, I would presume.”

At SFSU, a school known more for its academics compared to athletics, athletes felt they can be overlooked and not get as many opportunities. 

“I don’t think it’s only SF State and because SF State is a small school, I think it has to do with the level of play, one’s social status, and popularity amongst fans, quote on quote,” Gilat said. “Yeah, definitely, because SF State is a smaller school, not as known for its athletics. That’s definitely one of the reasons why it’s harder to get those opportunities.”

Team success is one other way for NIL to start looking at some of the college athletes and their impact on the game.

“Honestly, as a team, if we succeed and do well and win, and get publicized a little more, that would definitely help,” Gilat said. 

The big-name celebrities in the college sports world will have big money deals go their way but athletes in colleges like SFSU will benefit from NIL.

“Most students aren’t going to be getting that $100,000 deal, it’s more just being able to do those sponsored posts. If they are asked to post something, be able to do their own hobbies and monetize things they’re really good at –– makeup, or to do trick shots,” Volpe said. “They create a platform by posting fun trick shots on their social media and that’s kind of what it is.”

Navigating the social media sphere proves challenging for numerous individuals, with establishing a noteworthy presence presenting an even greater difficulty.

“I do believe that you could definitely use social platforms to get exposure and share content, share whatever you want to, create more of a name for yourself but it’s very difficult to do that. I’ve tried doing it myself and it’s very difficult firstly to begin, but once you get to a point that you feel like you want to be at, it’s very difficult to sustain and maintain that,” Gilat said.

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About the Contributors
Arman Archouniani, Sports Editor
Arman Archouniani (he/him) is the sports editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. He was born and raised in Daly City and enjoys living in the area. As a kid, his dream was to become a professional athlete. Arman loves his local sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants. He was previously the sports editor for The Skyline View at Skyline College. His dream now is to become a sports analyst for a major sports media company.
Michaela Mateo, Visuals Editor
Michaela Gutierrez Mateo (She/Her) is the Golden Gate Xpress Visuals Editor for Fall 2023. Her nickname is Micha, is a 4th year Photojournalism major and an Asian American Studies minor. She is a transfer student from Chabot College, Hayward where she had her first experience as a reporter for The Spectator. Her passion is photography and film but most of all she is a Kdrama and Kpop addict.

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