In 2022, name, image, and likeness collectives — groups of donors, alumni, and local businesses who pooled resources to provide deals to local athletes — took the college sports landscape by storm.
More than 250 collectives have popped up nationwide, from the richest Power 5 programs to some of the smaller no-football schools, according to an Opendorse white paper.
But they have largely failed women’s sports athletes.
Only 34% of existing collectives offered compensation to women’s sports athletes so far, the report found. The number is particularly disappointing given that collectives account for almost 50% of total NIL compensation.
To date, a few examples of collectives have galvanized women’s sports athletes.
Perhaps one of the most prominent examples: Utah women’s gymnastics is one of the few women’s programs with a team-specific collective called “Who Rocks The House.”
But the vast majority of involvement comes from multi-sport collectives that have also funded women’s athletes.
- A NIL collective for Michigan State athletes called “This Is Sparta!” organized $5,000 deals for every member of the Spartans women’s gymnastics team.
- South Carolina’s “Garnet Trust” created a program aiming to earn every women’s basketball player an average of $25,000 — a deal brokered with the help of coach Dawn Staley.
- Tulane’s “Fear The Wave” offered deals to every women’s basketball player. Co-founder Kelly Comarda recently told Front Office Sports the football team’s success galvanized fans to contribute to more women’s deals.
Women’s sports athletes earn 79% of NIL income from brand endorsement deals.