January 24, 2022

Dept. of Athletics Creates NIL Edge Team, Updates Guidelines


Virtually all of Ohio State’s varsity sports will have designated staff to work with NIL requests

COLUMBUS, OhioOhio State student-athletes have enjoyed this first six months of monetizing and profiting off their own Name, Image and Likeness, or NIL. A total of 220 student-athletes have engaged in 608 reported NIL activities with a total compensation value of $2.98 million. All three figures rank No. 1 nationally, according to Opendorse, the cutting edge services company hired by Ohio State to help its student-athletes with education and resource opportunities to maximize their NIL earning potential.

The NIL landscape continues to evolve, and Ohio State is evolving as well. This week Ohio State student-athletes will learn of a strategic new resource – the NIL Edge Team – developed by the Department of Athletics that will help create and foster best-in-class NIL opportunities for them.

“We are updating our NIL guidelines to allow for the creation of the Edge Team to assist in connecting and coordinating NIL activities for our student-athletes,” Carey Hoyt, Ohio State senior associate athletics director and primary administrator for Ohio State’s NIL programs, said.

“Our guidelines were initially created to be restrictive, but now that we have a better understanding of NIL, it’s clear that we can provide more assistance in connecting student-athletes with interested brands. By allowing some OSU staff to interact with the brands and to educate and answer questions, we can eliminate hesitancy from brands, and donors, who were concerned about breaking rules.”

The Edge Team is an internal advisory group whose members can assist student-athletes with access and resources to successfully pursue NIL opportunities. The Edge Team may work with companies and brands to assist in the NIL process, and it will also have the flexibility to monitor and adapt to changing guidelines and legislation.

The Department of Athletics was focused primarily on protective education and personal brand management during the initial six months of NIL. The ever-changing landscape, including the emergence of donor-led collectives, has created the need to have a dedicated internal team that can directly assist student-athletes as they continue to monitor the NIL landscape.

In addition to creation of the Edge Team, the new Ohio State guidelines will designate operations directors – not coaches – from virtually all of Ohio State’s 36 varsity sports who will be educated and tasked as NIL point-of-contacts for their sports. The operations directors will be able to assist with facilitating a connection for an NIL activity while also educating outside entities on NIL best practices at Ohio State.

“We have watched national trends and we are learning from the emerging NIL collectives,” Hoyt said. “Every state and every institution has its own set of NIL rules or guidelines. Updating our NIL guidelines at this time is what we needed to do to stay competitive in this ultra-competitive landscape.”