Miami Hurricanes football players could see a lucrative opportunity to capitalize on the change in NIL laws soon. Dan Lambert, avid and faithful fan of Miami football and owner of American Top Team, has offered each scholarship player on Miami’s football roster a monthly payment of $500 this year to advertise his MMA gyms on social media. The $500-a-month payments for each of the 90 scholarship members of the team could sum to potentially $540,000 on the year. It would be the largest reported endorsement deal for college sports if it reached that total since the long-awaited change in state laws and NCAA rules.
American Top Team is one of the nation’s most elite training academies specializing in mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While the training gym chain is based in Florida, there are 44 licensed gyms across the country and internationally. American Top Team features some of the most prominent fighters in the world, included Jorge Masvidal and Amanda Nunes, along with over two dozen more professional fighters.
Lambert has also founded Bring Back The U, a corporation entirely committed to compensating Miami football players. He hopes to escalate support from local businesses to hire players as spokesmen. In addition, his plan includes hosting fundraising events that donate proceeds to any local business that agrees to use the donation to hire Miami players as spokesmen. The strategy would help compensate student-athletes and drive traffic to local businesses.
The landscape of NIL laws is still embryotic but is undoubtedly intimidating for someone not devoted to staying up to date, which is why Lambert had multiple conversations with Miami’s compliance department. Moreover, Lambert has hired Darren Heitner to ensure his plan doesn’t violate any state laws. Darren has been a leading voice in the name, image, and likeness movement and assisted in the process of creating Florida’s NIL law. Because Lambert’s new corporation has no relationship with the university, his endeavor is valid. Only entities that themselves support an institution or athletic department would be prohibited from engaging in such a deal.
Lambert expresses his intent behind the offer is in the interest of helping the Miami student-athletes. He sees it as an opportunity to make a difference and reward the athletes while simultaneously building the reputation of the school and team he loves.