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The NCAA’s latest rules changes allow student-athletes to receive compensation for endorsements, opening up opportunities for brands looking to connect with the college space.

While the plan is still fairly broad, rEvolution has already begun initiating insightful conversations with our client partners to understand the changing landscape as well as strategically leverage these new opportunities with college athletes to authentically connect with college sports fans. In a recent article with Front Office Sports, rEvolution’s EVP Larry Mann stated:

“Our first phase is that we’ve now started educating our clients … We want to let them know about the ruling and let them know that this is going to be part of our conversation. And as we learn more, we want to work alongside our client partners to figure out how this impacts them and how they might be able to potentially use athletes moving forward.”

The new rules create a variety of partnership opportunities, from national campaigns with big names on a fast track to the professional level to local, community-specific relationships. Across the board, social media will serve as an important channel for these partnerships. In the same article, Mann noted:

“I think social media – that’s where you’ll see the biggest impact … Let’s just say Trevor Lawrence, who’s probably the face of college football. I don’t think you’re going to see him in a Wendy’s commercial, but I think what you’ll see is that if Wendy’s is doing a promotion around a big college football pregame show, you may see Trevor Lawrence do a thing where it’s, ‘Hey, Wendy’s has two burgers for $5 and I love Wendy’s’ or something like that via tweet or social media. At least phase one of how this is going to go where brands use these individual athletes as a central part of their campaign.”

While there are still quite a few unknowns about these rules, we know how important it is to to begin discussions now on what this can mean for future brand partnerships and campaigns. At rEvolution, we have a suite of integrated sports marketing services teams – including sponsorship consulting, marketing communications, media services and more – who will work closely with you to expertly navigate the space and craft innovative and meaningful brand campaigns.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please reach out here. We’d love to set up some time to talk.