In 94 days, the State of Florida is set to become the first to give college athletes the right to commercialize their publicity rights (i.e. name, image, and likeness — “NIL”). The establishment of these rights will put athletes in a position of power, but also provide sports agents with opportunities that have not existed in the past. Under Florida’s law, licensed athlete agents in the state will be able to assist college athletes with procuring and negotiating deals surrounding their NIL.
The language states, “Notwithstanding athletic conference or collegiate athletic association rules, bylaws, regulations, and policies to the contrary, an athlete agent may represent an intercollegiate athlete in securing compensation for the use of her or his name, image, or likeness.”
Florida’s statute also allows non-agent attorneys, licensed in the State of Florida, to represent college athletes as of July 1.
The relevant language in that regard states, “A postsecondary educational institution may not prevent or unduly restrict an intercollegiate athlete from obtaining professional representation by an athlete agent or attorney engaged for the purpose of securing compensation for the use of her or his name, image, or likeness . . . An attorney representing an intercollegiate athlete for purposes of securing compensation for the use of her or his name, image, or likeness must be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar.”
Non-lawyers who wish to work with college athletes on their endorsement deals should not waste any time in becoming properly licensed in the State of Florida. Athlete agents are regulated by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Applicants must be at least 18-years-old, pass a background check, and pay the required application fee of $630.
It can take some time before the DBPR processes an athlete agent application. As such, make sure to contact the department for a temporary athlete agent license while the application is pending. A temporary license is valid for 60 days, and it may not be extended.