Athletes Operating Like a Business

You get a notification on your phone. It’s an NIL opportunity. You start to read through it, then ask yourself: What do I do now?

For most athletes, doing NIL activities is a new experience. And even athletes who have done multiple activities still need a refresher on best practices to being professional. All athletes are operating like a business.

Here are some pieces of advice for all athletes when working with brands and fans for NIL opportunities:

1. Respond within 24-48 hours

These are real deals and real deals require proper responsiveness. Imagine if you reached out to a food service and they didn’t respond until 48 hours after you ordered. You’d be hungry!

If you receive a deal and want to pursue it, respond within 24 to 48 hours of that deal arriving in your account. Let them know if you’re interested and any other pieces of feedback. This will signal that you’re a good athlete to work with and they found the right partner.

Give the brand a definitive response so they know if they need to move on to someone else. If you’re too busy to fully consider what they are asking you to do, use the Chat in your Opendorse account to tell the brand and give them a deadline on when you’ll have a decision on their offer.

2. If you don’t accept the opportunity, let the other person know why

When some athletes read an opportunity they don’t want to pursue, they leave it on “read.” Whether it’s a fan, business or major brand, it’s best for athletes to send a reason to the offering party explaining why they do not want to accept the opportunity or pursue it.

Always, always communicate back to the offering party and let them know why that deal is not the right one for you. Honest feedback is common for brands. Even a rejection for “not enough money” will be helpful and appreciated, not a negative reflection on you. It doesn’t have to be an in-depth explanation, but a quick sentence letting them know why will leave the door open. You never know, they may want to come back and work with you on a better or more aligned opportunity down the road.

Simply, “ghosting” an offer is not a good look.

3. Overdeliver on the value

Yes, you are being paid for an NIL deal or activity. But as much as you get paid, you should want to deliver more value back to the ones paying you.

What do we mean? Let’s say someone pays you $250 to do an appearance at a business. Easy things to do to show how much you value the opportunity is:

  1. Text or call them with your exact time of arrival
  2. Introduce yourself in person to the main contact and those around them
  3. Before you leave, ask the main contact, “Is there anything else you need me to do?”

These simple steps show the other party you care and value their opportunity. They then feel like they got paid two or three times what you received. It could also mean good word-of-mouth recommendations to others who may offer you NIL deals or repeat opportunities with the original party.

4. Don’t accept a deal if you aren’t sure you’ll have the time to execute it

Things come up for all of us. But be aware of putting too much on your plate. If you happen to accept an offer and realize it’s going to be too much, simple apologize and communicate that to the brand. You can also ask them if you’re able to push the fulfillment date to another day and time.

5. Keep your Opendorse Profile updated

The most common ways brands are searching for athletes are by school, sport, and total followers. After that, things like hometown and major are also important, as well as interests. Your Opendorse Profile features all of these identifiers.

Don’t forget to update your school or team if you transfer or move on and keep your social media channels connected to your Opendorse account.

Every deal is an opportunity to learn and know what you’re comfortable doing. Keeping your Opendorse Profile up to date makes a difference for your future NIL opportunities. It’s an easy way for athletes to keep their business operating.