Pay to Play Marketing is an information-based platform that provides knowledge to athletes, parents, and businesses seeking to grow revenue through the use of modern NIL concepts. In short, this website educates these groups and individuals on how to build their brands successfully now that NIL is finally an open and legal topic in college sports.
For decades, the term “pay to play” had a negative connotation. This was a phrase heard throughout the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s when schools and teams ran short on money. When athletes heard this term, it was usually to their detriment. “Pay to play” meant that the athlete (usually a child under the age of 18), or his and her parents, were going to be required to pay for participation in sports. During this time, athletes and their families lost money constantly and had few options, or even no ways, to earn money while large organizations and businesses profited off of their name, image, and likeness.
Thanks to the relentless efforts and voice of millions of athletes and their parents, the rules governing how and when athletes can earn money have finally changed and with this, “pay to play” now means something entirely. It is finally up to the athletes to dictate terms on which others can engage with them. Yes, sport organizations can still charge the athletes to participate on teams. That is an important part of the economics of sport. But now, athletes are finally allowed (and hopefully encouraged) to build and grow their personal brands in a way that benefits their financial resources.
Simply put, athletes with an active personal brand can earn money by asking others to “pay to play” with their name, image, and likeness.
This type of monetization can take many different formats. Athletes can earn money directly from fans who pay for opportunities to meet the athlete, acquire autographs, or gain experience from the athlete in some way. Businesses can also pay athletes for access to their network. Thanks to social media, a young athlete’s network can dwarf that of professionals with decades more experience.
These opportunities are enticing to athletes, their families, and the businesses that might want to pay the athletes to play a role on their social media accounts. It is exciting to think about how marketing and revenue opportunities might evolve around the new NIL rules, but there are also many new questions that now exist. Unfortunately, there are very few resources available to help athletes, parents, and businesses answer these questions and make the most of this opportunity.
Pay to Play Marketing will provide advice based on decades of experience in youth, high school, intercollegiate, and professional sports. In addition to simply having a background as an athlete, the team at Pay to Play Marketing is led by Nick Stover. Nick earned a Masters Degree in Sports Management and an MBA. He then went on to earn several high profile leadership roles in sports. These include titles as a General Manager for a professional indoor soccer team that paved the way for Louisville City FC (a member of the USL) and the first Director of Social Media for an athletic department in the NCAA.