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NIL deals pour money into high school athletes’ piggy banks


NIL deals pour money into high school athletes’ piggy banks


Future. Top high school athletes around the country are inking six-figure and higher deals around their “name, image, and likeness” (NIL). While the practice is still controversial, big brands may waste no time in signing athletes they see a strong future in… especially if they can get them at a discount before they play at the more high-profile NCAA level.

Kid cash
High school athletes may not be looking to get part-time retail jobs anymore, thanks to new NIL deals.

  • Soccer-star sisters Alyssa and Gisele Thompson from Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles signed with Nike earlier this month.
  • Basketball prodigy Mikey Williams from Vertical Academy in Charlotte signed with Puma last fall.
  • Wrestler Richie Clementi from Brother Martin High School in New Orleans signed with Friendly Powersports Slidell in April.

According to Axios, the deals — and many like them — were signed in the wake of nine states recently allowing NIL deals to be done with high school students. According to the college sports database On3, seven basketball players and over 100 football players have NIL valuations over $100,000.

But not every state is down for the idea of high schoolers leveraging their talent for money. Ohio just voted against allowing it last week, citing a still-shifting culture around it and “too many unanswered questions.” That thinking makes sense when you consider athletes on the collegiate level just got the ability to cash in on their NIL last year.

Part of the issue is that it adds extra pressure on athletes while they’re still minors and is forcing students to think about marketing themselves. Most of the athletes scoring NIL deals have huge social media followings, which is how they got international attention.

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