The National Federation of State High School Associations and ADVANCE, powered by Anomaly and TeamAltemus, have partnered to address Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) with a new, free course by the NFHS Learning Center that details the expectations and realities of NIL in the current interscholastic landscape.
Since July 1, 2021, at which time college student-athletes could officially profit from their name, image and likeness, the topic of NIL has remained at the forefront of discussion for interscholastic athletics and activities. The NFHS and ADVANCE designed the “Name, Image and Likeness” course to not only define NIL, but to also provide examples of how it can be leveraged by high school students, identify misconceptions that various stakeholders have about NIL, and highlight aspects that students and families should consider when interested in pursuing NIL opportunities.
“The NFHS Learning Center is excited to bring increased awareness of name, image and likeness to the interscholastic community and beyond,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services. “We believe that this course will help people better understand what NIL is, and, maybe more importantly, what it is not.”
The “Name, Image and Likeness” course suggests ways in which student-athletes can leverage NIL to promote their own identity via a brand or business. The course also addresses intellectual property such as shirts, flyers and artwork, which belong to the student-athlete who is promoting his or her own identity. Permitted profit from NIL is absent of promotion of direct competition or performance. In addition to providing other examples of ways to leverage NIL, the course explores differences in NIL and “Pay-for-Play,” a forbidden practice that occurs when a student- athlete earns money for competing.
The launch of “Name, Image and Likeness” coincides with the unveiling of a new user experience that Schuster said will “better showcase” the NFHS Learning Center’s accredited content. It features improved navigation, resources, transcripts, higher quality videos and a larger screen.
“The upgrades to course-taking will enhance the experience and better showcase the high-quality accredited content to learners across the country,” Schuster said.
The NFHS Learning Center’s development of the course took place in concert with ADVANCE, the contributor of the course’s content. ADVANCE provides comprehensive advisory and strategic NIL solutions that educate, empower and equip all stakeholders in the collegiate and high school athletics ecosystem. Its work with NIL curriculum development includes in-depth evaluation and collaborative solutions designed to maximize on-campus resources, knowledge, athlete instruction and live data.
“The NFHS recognized an increasing need for insightful, thorough education on name, image and likeness for its members across the education-based activities landscape,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, CEO of the NFHS. “Since NIL’s emergence, ADVANCE has been committed to providing individuals with education and strategies to succeed in the world it’s introduced us to. Thanks to that expertise, we are able to develop and offer this much-needed course at a time when NIL is beginning to trickle down to our high school student-athletes.”
“We are excited to partner with the NFHS in delivering this much needed education to student-athletes, coaches, administrators and families,” said ADVANCE Co-Managing Partner Luke Fedlam. “This movement towards NIL at the High School level requires an understanding of protective education to ensure families and student-athletes navigate these new business responsibilities effectively.”
“From the onset, we saw the passion the NFHS had in making sure that student-athletes and their families across the country where not overwhelmed by NIL and trying to fully understand a new business environment,” said ADVANCE Managing Partner Courtney Altemus. “We’re grateful for the NFHS’ leadership in providing multiple engagement opportunities to their state association staffs, and now to school ADs and student-athletes through NFHS Learn.”
Although some states currently permit NIL participation for student-athletes, the rules may not be the same in each. Many states continue to work through NIL legislation and proposals, while others do not permit NIL involvement. NIL participants are encouraged to review the policies of their state, league or school before engaging in any form of NIL compensation.
For more information and to take the “Name, Image and Likeness” course, please visit the NFHS Learning Center at www.nfhslearn.com. You can also learn more about ADVANCE and NIL education by visiting www.advancenil.com.