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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Klutch Sports’ Jade-Li English Discusses NIL and Gender Equity

  • English spoke with FOS during a Title IX anniversary summit about how NIL and women's equality in sports interact.
  • In February, Jade-Li English broke ground with Klutch Sports, heading up the agency’s first women’s basketball division.
Klutch Sports Group

In February, Jade-Li English broke ground with Klutch Sports, heading up the agency’s first women’s basketball division. She represents some of the biggest names in women’s basketball, including 2020 WNBA MVP and fellow South Carolina alum A’Ja Wilson.

Now, she’s at the forefront of two massive movements in sports: equity for women and NIL.

In an interview during the Front Office Sports Title IX Summit, English spoke about how the first year of NIL has been a huge game-changer, and how women in college sports have played a huge role in its importance.

“It’s a groundbreaking moment in sports across the board. There’s been just so much innovation,” English said. “It’s pushed the equality conversation forward, and it’s, quite frankly, turned the NCAA on its ass, which it needed to.”

English notes that while the NIL era has largely been positive, there are still strides that will need to be made in the coming years to ensure the process is as beneficial to the schools and student-athletes as possible.

She proposed that schools undertake education initiatives so athletes better understand how to handle their taxes and have the proper representation to negotiate fair compensation from their deals.

University administrations will also need to begin regulating booster and sponsorship financials as well, given that much of that money will be coming in as a result of the athletes.

Nevertheless, English sees the NIL movement as a huge positive for women in sports: The sponsorship opportunities get more eyes on women’s college athletes, allowing them to build their brands from a younger age.

“Now that NIL legislation has happened, we’re starting much, much sooner,” she said. “[Brand] Storytelling [originally] didn’t really happen until they went to the pro level.”

English is hopeful that the momentum will continue in the near and far future.

“There’s going to be a time when, hopefully soon, the younger generations aren’t even going to have these conversations about women and men’s inequities,” she said. “They’re not going to know of a world where women’s basketball or soccer was not on TV or not getting equal treatment. Those days are coming.”

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