Marketing offers trickle down to high school students | News, Sports, Jobs

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND—Ian Jackson and Johnuel “Bogie” Fland is among the brightest stars in high school basketball and now has the trade deals to prove it.

Teenagers and friendly rivals in New York cash in on their name, image, and likeness through marketing deals often referred to as NIL deals. The contracts began to trickle down to the high school level after the NCAA’s decision last year to allow college athletes to monetize their stardom.

So far, seven states have approved agreements for prep athletes. Other states, such as Ohio, continue to debate whether NILs would taint high school sports.

Jackson and Fland, who are both ranked as top college nominees for the Class of 2024, receive a percentage of sales on products from a merchandise company bearing their likeness and four-figure monthly checks to post about the brand on the social networks.

Jackson, 16, said he was saving money he earned from merchandise company Spreadshop and several other deals to buy a house for his family.

“I want to put my family in a better place” said Jackson.

Fland, 15, also said he wanted to help his family.

“It was very important” he said. “All the hard work is finally paying off.”

In Ohio, high school principals began voting May 1 on whether to amend the state’s high school athletic association bylaws to allow athletes to sign agreements.

“A lot of us here at OHSAA and school administrators don’t like NIL,” said Ohio High School Athletic Association spokesman Tim Stried. “We would have liked not to have to deal with this, but it is not going away. We can help shape it or do what the NCAA did and fight it until it is otherwise.

Karissa Niehoff, CEO of the National Federation of State High School Associations, said NIL rights for high school athletes could prove disruptive, but she tempered her criticism by saying: “I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of that.”

High school, says Niehoff, “is not intended to be an opportunity to make a living, and we hope it stays that way.”

The issue of NIL agreements for high school athletes follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June that the NCAA cannot restrict education-related compensation for the estimated 500,000 college student-athletes. from the country. Since then, Alaska, California, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, and Utah have created laws or policies allowing NIL compensation for high school athletes.

Jackson, who attends Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, is represented by his AAU coach. Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, has hired a marketing consultant to help Fland and other students at the school with NIL deals.

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