‘It’s a man’s world’: male athletes are leading the way for zero money

Male athletes are on the move six months after the NCAA cleared the way for college athletes to earn money on their celebrity.

According to third-party data for about 125,000 athletes from July 1 to December 31, they are further ahead in total name, image and likeness compensation and have more zero deals than women—nearly one in 500,000 across the NCAA’s three divisions. Quarter.

Zero opportunities are clearly unequal in gender and power five schools.

For example, the Washington state women’s volleyball team has zero deals. Its many international players not eligible for their But coach Jane Greene, whose teams have gone to the NCAA Tournament six seasons in a row, said women’s teams don’t seem to be a priority.

“I don’t know of anyone who has approached any of our players, and we are the most successful sport in Washington state,” Green said. “So, it’s a little disappointing.”

Sports management experts say men’s sports make more money — often enough to help fund other sports — and have a huge presence in TV and media, so it’s only natural that businesses give those athletes the best return on investment. Looking forward to the return.

“It’s a man’s world. We’re just trying to find our place in it,” said Professor Ketra Armstrong, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Race and Ethnicity in Sport and a member of the Michigan Task Force on Women in Sports. She said: “For women to break into it, it has to be strategic. It has to be intentional. It has to be almost unusual.”

There is no public clearing house that tracks zero compensation and activity, so the exact size of the fledgling industry is somewhat unknown. NIL tech platform INFLCR declined to give an exact figure, but said athletes using its system have reported deals totaling “eight figures”.

Most schools have refrained from releasing details provided by their athletes, citing privacy concerns, although Ohio State said this week That 220 athletes were paid a total of $2.98 million for 608 reported zero activities since July 1.

INFLCR and opendoors — another company that got into the industry early on — has released some gender- and sport-specific details. The companies say they do not track deals based on race or ethnicity.

According to INFLCR data from July 1 to December 31, male athletes in Division I reported more zero deals than female athletes – 59% of the total. Its data is based on transactions that are reported by athletes in the INFLCR system – more than 70,000 in more than 200 schools.

Meanwhile, Openadores found that Division I male athletes grabbed 67.4% of total zero compensation, compared to 32.6% of females as of December 31, citing data from some 55,000 athletes in more than 575 schools.

NIL era allows athletes to tap the free market under broader rules In place from the NCAA, states and schools. Title IX, the federal law that requires athletic departments to provide general equality for men and women, doesn’t apply because schools aren’t making deals.

Matthew Robinson, professor of sports management in Delaware, said, “It will depend on whoever decides to pay the child, sponsor the child, support the child, whatever it is, their decision.” Is.”

This has so far favored male athletes, although INFLCR CEO Jim Cavalle said, “If you remove football from the equation, the transactions or activities reported by female student-athletes account for more than 50% of the total for all other sports.” Huh.”

Five women’s sports rank in the top 10 for zero activities based on INFLCR and Opendoors data: track and field, volleyball, basketball, soccer and softball.

Openadores said that six women’s sports are also in the top 10 for zero compensation, led by women’s basketball (26.2%), which is behind only football (45.7%) and ahead of men’s basketball (18%). Those three games make up about 90% of the total zero compensation.

The vast majority of NIL deals are modest: the average compensation across all three divisions, per INFLCR, was $1,291 in total through December 31, with an average compensation of only $51. Openadores said the average compensation for a Division I athlete at the end of 2021 was $1,036.

Overall compensation figures are skewed by reportedly massive deals for a small group of star athletes such as Yukon basketball player Paige Buykers (Gatorade)., StockX), the Cavinder Twins of Fresno State Basketball, Haley & Hanna (Boost Mobile, Baseline Team Clothing Co. ), LSU gymnast Olivia Dunn (Mountain, American Eagle), UCLA Soccer’s Raylin Turner (Nike) ), Tyty Washington of Kentucky Basketball (Porsche dealership) ) and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (cash app, trading card).

“You’re going to make people millions, and they’re going to be in the minority,” Robinson said. “I think it will be a lot of people making hundreds and thousands.”

Trinity Thomas of Florida, 2020 SEC Gymnast of the Year and a former member of the US national team, has scored several zero deals and has more in the pipeline. Most of them are social media posts – and the number of followers matters,

“I’ve always been active on social media, but not as much as I am now,” Thomas said. “I’m definitely trying to build a following now. I feel like if I have the opportunity, I should take it and work on it. It’s been fun, stressful, and a learning curve.”

Sports marketing experts say the far more lucrative zero deals to black female athletes like Thomas are the exception to the rule.

Thilo Kunkel, an associate professor and director of the Center for Sports Industry Research at Temple, said “white women have more affluent target markets or followers than some who come from diverse backgrounds” and “some brands don’t see as much value”. In a woman of color target market.

Plus, getting the attention of sponsors as a female athlete isn’t as easy as a catchy Instagram post or a run of the NCAA tournament. It helps to be in a big-time Power Five conference school, Kunkel said, because “the big brand community — those alumni, those followers — tends to be much stronger.”

Of course, even if you’re in a Power Five conference like Washington State, there’s no guarantee that the money will come to you as a female athlete. “The Cougars don’t have the donor base that many other schools in the Pac-12 or Power Five do,” Green said.

“(I worry) that we as a women’s sport in general are going to lose donor money for the things we really need, and those donors are being called for zero deals,” he said. “So instead of us as a whole department taking advantage of these donors, it’s going to go to some male athletes. And we don’t have enough donors to turn around.”


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