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Sunday, July 14, 2024

In Wake of Settlement, NCAA Considering Jersey, On-Field Corporate Logos

  • In search of new revenue, the rules committee will consider a proposal for more prominent football corporate sponsorships.
  • Last week, the NCAA and power conferences agreed to a historic $2.7 billion settlement.
Nov 4, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; The Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers game during the second half at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a week after agreeing to a $2.7 billion settlement to allow revenue sharing with athletes, the NCAA and power conferences are naturally looking for new revenue streams. An NCAA spokesperson said Wednesday that its rules committee will discuss a proposal at its June 6 meeting to add corporate sponsorships to football fields and jerseys.

The current rules state that corporate logos on the field are allowed at only bowl games, sponsored neutral-sites, and instances when a sponsor has purchased naming rights to the field, stadium, or facility (such as Alaska Airlines Field at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium).

That could change soon, with the governing body reportedly considering logos on the 25- and 50-yard lines as well as jersey patches, an increasingly common source of revenue in major North American leagues. For reference, SEC schools could rake in at least $1 million from 25-yard-line sponsorships and $5 million in jersey patches in a given season, according to Yahoo! Sports.

“I believe the NCAA is going to allow us to put a sponsor logo on the field during the regular season,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said Wednesday at SEC spring meetings. “That’s an obvious revenue stream that has not been there in the past. The pro sports are putting patches on jerseys. That doesn’t seem like something that’s crazy for us to consider these days.”

The historic settlement includes damages to Division I athletes who competed in the pre–name, image, and likeness era from 2016 to ’21, and each of those schools’ annual revenue-sharing models beginning in the fall of ’25 will start around $20 million, if not higher.

The future is far from set in stone: Many details need to be ironed out, athlete approval is required, and a judge must give a final blessing. Still, the reality of institutions sharing a chunk of their media-rights revenue is a huge step forward in the fight for athlete compensation.

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