Tuesday October 3, 2023

Meta Doubles Down on Women’s Sports with Latest NIL Program

  • Meta has launched the second iteration of its NIL program.
  • 30 women’s sports athletes will get career coaching, social media education, and connections with brands.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs

NBC is exploring broadcasting a slice of the expanded CFP in 2026.
Listen Now
October 3, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

One of the most influential companies in the digital age is continuing to invest in the college athlete name, image, and likeness space. 

On Wednesday, Meta announced its second iteration of an NIL education program — called “NIL Empower 2.0” — aimed at helping women’s sports athletes get the most out of their Facebook and Instagram accounts and develop post-college careers.

“If you look at NIL compensation and activities overall, it’s clear that social media is here to stay,” Becca Greenwell Wathen, Meta’s Strategic Partner Manager of Student-Athletes and Sports Creators, told Front Office Sports. “We have a commitment to serve these athletes and help them be as successful as possible.”

The company created an open application, and received interest from more than 500 athletes. “We wanted to work with athletes that had a strong history of using our products…or at least ambition to learn how to use our products,” Wathen said. Diversity of sports, conferences, and school size was also key.

The result: a class of athletes from multiple conferences and schools who will have access to education sessions, one-on-one mentorship, career coaching, and deals with brands that Meta has enlisted.

“It would’ve been really easy for Meta to take 30 Power 5 quarterbacks,” Oglethorpe volleyball player Laney Higgins told FOS. “But instead, they had a vision for empowering 30 female student-athletes.” 

While Meta will not be compensating athletes directly, the participating brands will sign traditional deals with athletes. 

“The whole goal of the program is to help empower female athletes to maximize NIL opportunities and prepare for life after sports,” Wathen, a former Duke basketball player herself, said.

With the program, Meta is also looking to tackle a major issue in the early NIL era. In many cases, athletes have said that NIL education is severely lacking, and the programs that exist aren’t engaging, fun, or accessible, Wathen said. 

Francesca Belibi, a Stanford basketball player, told FOS that many athletes still don’t understand how they can use NIL to their advantage. Even as a player on a marquee team in a popular sport, she initially didn’t realize that she could profit off NIL, and use it to her advantage. 

For many, “NIL feels a little bit unattainable,” she said. But “there’s something in the NIL space for everybody.”

When her playing days are over, Belibi plans to become a pediatrician. “There’s a lot I can do as a potential pediatrician to help impact and inspire these kids,” she said. “How can I do that with a platform on a grander scale?”

The program is flexible, too — a seemingly small detail that could make a major impact for athletes who are already juggling school, sports, and college life.

Higgins told FOS that Meta asked her for her class schedule, and is being flexible with timing. “I really look forward to pouring my heart and soul into it,” she said.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

An advocacy group is filing an NLRB case against the Ivy League over athlete compensation.

Advocacy Group Files Federal Labor Charge Against Ivy League

It’s the latest in a flurry of NLRB cases over amateurism.
The Colorado Buffaloes played in the most-watched game of Week 5.

Colorado Ratings Bonanza Continues Despite Two Consecutive Losses

The Buffs’ least-watched game this season was still the most-watched this week.
Football analyst and PFF investor Chris Collinsworth talks to man in front of computers

Cris Collinsworth 'Lost a Lot of Sleep' Over Pro Football Focus Leadership Issues

New book details why it’s no longer a “happy place to work.”
NBC is interested in media rights to the expanded College Football Playoff.

NBC Is Interested in Expanded College Football Playoff Media Rights

NBC is one of the networks pitching the CFP, a source confirmed.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs


Featured Today

MLB Attendance Surges 70 Million, Tops League Projections

League posts best year-over-year increase at the gate since 1993
Levi's Stadium
October 2, 2023

49ers Study Shows Benefits of Public-Private Stadium Deals

Levi’s Stadium has generated more than $2 billion per new study.
Formula 1 drivers in a pack at the start of the Montreal Grand Prix
October 1, 2023

Apple Reportedly Making Push For Global Formula 1 Rights

The tech giant could offer $2 billion a year for the rights.
September 30, 2023

Baltimore Looks To Return To The Oriole Way

Lease deal offers new hope, but market and economic challenges remain.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations

Colorado Football's $14M Ticket Revenue Surge Amid Revival

Revenue from single-game ticket sales has tripled from 2022.
September 29, 2023

Colorado Has Become the Hollywood of College Football. This Weekend Proves It.

Folsom Field will welcome dozens of Hollywood stars on Saturday.
September 28, 2023

Big 12 Entries Boosting Tickets, Merch For New Members

BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF joined the Big 12 in July.
September 28, 2023

Prime Effect: Colorado Athletics Sponsorship Revenue Up 42%

The Coach Prime impact is hitting all areas of the athletic department.
Michigan State terminates Tucker's deal with cause amid sexual harassment allegations.
September 27, 2023

Michigan State's Firing of Mel Tucker Saves University $80M

MSU terminates deal with cause amid sexual harassment allegations.
September 27, 2023

AAC Commissioner Open To CFP Format Change, Just Not Yet

Mike Aresco is not ready to vote for CFP structure changes.
A general view of Reser Stadium before a game between Oregon State Beavers and UC Davis Aggies.
September 27, 2023

Oregon State Projects 44% Athletics Revenue Loss From Pac-12 Realignment

Oregon St. officials reveal the potentially dire effects of Pac-12 realignment.
September 23, 2023

Up Next For College Football Playoffs: More Change, Money, And ... Streaming?

Many changes are coming to the CFP when it expands to 12 teams.