• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Campus Ink Is Paying College Athletes Like Social Media Influencers

  • Athletes make between $8-$15 per item that doesn’t retail above $60.
  • The model allows Campus Ink to compete with some of the most high-profile companies in the space.
Alex Martin/IndyStar

Campus Ink has developed an NIL merchandise program that pays players more like social media influencers than athletes.

The NIL stores, which sell customized T-shirts, crewnecks, and sweatshirts, compensate athletes between $8-$15 on items that are $60 or less, Campus Ink Director of Athlete Development and Partnerships Adam Cook told Front Office Sports. 

The model allows Campus Ink to compete with some of the most high-profile companies in the space.

Traditional group licensing deals pool a percentage of sales and distribute them to athletes, Cook said. Campus Ink, on the other hand, offers any funds above business costs to athletes on a per-item basis, like it would with social media influencers or other celebrities.

  • Fanatics and OneTeam Partners are paying less than $4 for a football jersey retailing at $140, Front Office Sports previously reported
  • The Brandr Group offers athletes about $10-$12 per item sold, roughly 10% of the jersey invoice price.
  • A Michigan group licensing deal brokered by Valiant offers more, however. It pays out about $20 per jersey, though items retail for a higher price than Campus Ink NIL products ($120-180).

The program has launched at three schools so far. The first, with Illinois men’s basketball, earned athletes more than $100,000, the company said. 

Following this success, Mark Cuban agreed to make an investment in Campus Ink to grow its offerings. It has more than a dozen more stores in the works, and has expanded to football, women’s basketball, and several Olympic sports.

Other companies “go about those rights through a group licensing agreement — which is great,” Cook said. “There’s 100% a place for that and it’s a wonderful avenue for athletes to get granted opportunities. But it’s not the only avenue.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
Sponsored

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.

A Rising Pirates Star and His Famous Girlfriend Are Sparking National Buzz

Last year’s No. 1 draft pick will make his MLB debut, generating big expectations both locally and nationally.
Nov 25, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Helmets at the line of scrimmage as UCLA Bruins long snapper Beau Gardner (60) snaps the ball against the California Golden Bears at the Rose Bowl.

UCLA Might Have to Pay $10M a Year to Subsidize Cal Athletics

UC Board of Regents will consider approving a proposal for mandated subsidies.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

The Next Era of the Harlem Globetrotters

0:00

Featured Today

exclusive

‘This Is Semi-Pro’: Inside One Arena Football League Team’s Collapse

The collapse of the Georgia Force, as told by the players who lived it.
Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.
May 19, 2024

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Adidas
Multiple - USA Careers
FanDuel
Multiple - USA Careers

Pac-12 Finally Inks Football Media Deal With Just Two Members

The two-member ‘conference’ signed one-year deals with Fox Sports and The CW. 
Dec 2, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (1) reacts in the second half against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
May 6, 2024

Why a College Athletes’ Rights Group Is Setting Employee Status Aside

The organization endorsed a new collective bargaining model where athletes remain amateurs.
May 7, 2024

Another Court Sides With Zion Williamson’s Years-Old Firing of Unregistered Agent

There isn’t a rigorous or nationwide standard to rep a college athlete.
Sponsored

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
April 30, 2024

House v. NCAA: Settlement Doesn’t Address Biggest Issue in College Sports

The House v. NCAA case puts the NCAA and power conferences on the hook for billions in damages.
Dec 3, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; FOX Sports personality Reggie Bush before the Big Ten Championship between the Michigan Wolverines and the Purdue Boilermakers at Lucas Oil Stadium.
April 25, 2024

Reggie Bush Got His Heisman Back. Here’s Why He’s Still Suing the NCAA

The former USC star will go forward with a 2023 defamation lawsuit against the NCAA.
April 25, 2024

With New Lawsuit, Florida AG Backs FSU in Fight to Exit the ACC

Lawsuit alleges the ACC was ‘wrongfully withholding’ media contracts from the public.