The NIL Impact on Women’s Sports & What You Can Do

I’m the CEO and Co-founder of Obsesh, where our team thrives on fostering authentic connections between athletes, fans, and their favorite brands. In a world where the dynamic of sports extends far beyond the playing field, we at Obsesh work diligently to create a sports technology and marketing platform that creates equitable opportunities for women in college and pro sports.

The introduction of the NCAA’s Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) policy provides a perfect pivot point to examine and champion the cause of women in sports. And who better than a female CEO in the NIL era to help you bust the myths and charge ahead?!!

This week I want to shine a light on the top 5 myths I see slowing the growth down for women and I hope that all female athletes will hear me, read it, and lean it to our superpowers!

Top 5 Myths To Date

Myth 1: NIL Only Benefits Star Male “Revenue-driving” Athletes

A prevailing myth argues that NIL only elevates those already basking in the limelight. However, with the right strategies, all female athletes can harness the potential of NIL to bolster their personal brands and financial stability. The door is open, the question is do you want to work for it? Nothing comes that easy, even for football players.

Myth 2: Women Will be Left Behind

The erroneous belief that women will trail behind in the NIL era neglects the power and influence of burgeoning women’s sports markets and the widespread appeal of female athletes as role models and influencers.

Myth 3: Niche Sports Don’t Matter

Contrary to the belief that only mainstream sports reap NIL benefits, niche sports provide unique marketing avenues, often untapped and ripe with potential for lucrative deals for female athletes. Everyone is quick to point out the success of Livvy Dunne, and if she can make millions, the others can too. There is an estimated of $13B, that’s 💰💰💰💰💰💰, available these next 1-2 years!

Myth 4: Social Media is Secondary

Social media isn’t merely a side gig; it’s a potent tool for athletes, it’s your best platform (that you can control!) next to your collegiate platform (which you can’t control) especially for women to build their brand, engage audiences, and attract significant sponsorship, proving critical in the NIL landscape. Be consistent, be engaging, and be you. It takes time to build a network, don’t think it comes overnight!

Myth 5: Financial Management Isn’t a Priority

NIL introduces new financial landscapes for all athletes. The myth that these dealings are straightforward and don’t require robust financial management and literacy could not be further from the truth.

The NIL policy represents a turning point, especially for women in sports, shattering ceilings and introducing new horizons. While the myths surrounding NIL and women’s sports are pervasive, a deeper dive reveals a narrative rich with opportunity and empowerment. And economic stability.

How Can You Support Women through NIL Opportunities

I’ve outlined my top 3 takeaways to plug into your playbook.

Takeaway 1: Participate in Proactive Brand Building

Leveraging NIL successfully demands a proactive approach to brand building. Encouraging female athletes to consciously curate their brand narrative and capitalize on unique NIL opportunities will be pivotal.

Takeaway 2: Create Advocacy and Representation

Ensuring women do not just participate but genuinely benefit from the NIL policy requires collective advocacy and robust representation. I’m not talking about a sports agent. I’m referring to representation in your programs, opportunities, and access. Aligning female athletes with brands that resonate with their values and aspirations will be crucial.

Takeaway 3: Develop Financial Empowerment

It is imperative to educate female athletes on astute financial management, guiding them to navigate through deals effectively, negotiations, ensuring long-term stability and financial health.

Empowering women in sports in the NIL era is not merely an aspiration but a tangible, achievable goal. By debunking myths, embracing strategic brand building, advocating robustly, and championing financial empowerment, we ALL lay the foundation for an equitable, prosperous future for ALL athletes.

Your journey to empowerment in sports, particularly for women amidst the evolving NIL landscape, lies ahead, and it’s OURS to shape, sculpt, and celebrate. Together, let’s rewrite the rules and lead with influence, inclusivity, and integrity.

If you like this, please share it with women in power, women in the CMO seat, women in sports, and your daughters!