Wildcat Statue

Varsity College Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Policy


Varsity College Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Policy

Please direct all inquiries regarding these guidelines to the Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance. The University provides a form upon request to help varsity college athletes remain in compliance with NCAA regulations. The form is at www.nmuwildcats.com

Purpose
This policy requires Northern Michigan University to develop guidance for NMU’s varsity college athletes who intend to engage in activities that involve the use of the varsity college athlete’s name, image, and/or likeness for commercial or promotional purposes.  

Applicability
This policy applies to incoming and current varsity college athletes and the NMU personnel who support them. 

Policy
The Northern Michigan University Intercollegiate Athletics department will provide guidance for varsity college athletes, coaches and staff regarding the use of the varsity college athlete’s name, image, and/or likeness for commercial or promotional purposes. The guidance, as well as the distribution of the guidance, will be consistent with NCAA rules as well as the laws of the State of Michigan. 

NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES FOR OVERSIGHT OF VARSITY COLLEGE ATHLETE NAME, IMAGE, AND LIKENESS (NIL)

I. REASON FOR GUIDELINES

The following guidelines are intended to provide guidance for Northern Michigan University (hereinafter, “NMU” or “University”) varsity college athletes, coaches and staff around use of a varsity college athlete’s name, image and/or likeness for commercial purposes. This document provides definitions and regulations relating to use of a varsity college athlete’s name, image and/or likeness at the University. A varsity college athlete’s failure to comply with these guidelines may result in penalties imposed by the NCAA and/or the University that could impact the varsity college athlete’s eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics and maintain an athletics scholarship. 

II. DEFINITIONS
A. Name, Image, and Likeness. Name, image and/or likeness (“NIL”) are the three components of a person’s “right of publicity.” These are independent or collectively identifiable aspects of a person that make them unique, including but not limited to, their name, image, likeness, nickname, signature, social media account, any symbol, name, or design that readily identifies them or any combination thereof.
B. Varsity College Athlete. A varsity college athlete is an incoming or current student who will be or is a member of one of NMU’s intercollegiate teams. 
C. Official Team Activities. “Official Team Activities” means all games, practices, exhibitions, scrimmages, meetings, team appearances, team photograph sessions, sports camps sponsored by the University, and other team-organized activities, regardless of whether the activity takes place on or off campus, including individual photograph sessions and news media interviews.
D. Fair Market Value. The value of a right, good, service or property as determined by the marketplace. This is the price an informed and unpressured buyer would pay to an informed and unpressured seller in an arms-length transaction based solely on the value of the right, good, service or property. The fair market value of a right, good, service or property can be determined by the price on which other buyers and sellers have agreed for a similar right, good, service or property.
E. Prohibited Sponsorship Category. A prohibited sponsorship category is any sponsorship agreement in certain product categories, with specific entities and/or with identified individuals that are in conflict with existing University contracts, University policy or for any other reason determined in good faith by the University. Prohibited sponsorship categories include, but are not limited to, sponsorships that: (1) adversely affect the University’s reputation; (2) appear to create an endorsement by the University of a particular company, product, political candidate or position regarding public policies; (3) are considered to contain obscene, indecent or profane material; (4) ridicule, exploit or demean persons on the basis of their age, color, creed, physical or mental disability, physical appearance, national origin, citizenship, veteran status, marital status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity; (5) promote tobacco products; (6) promote NCAA banned substances; or (7) promote gambling/sports wagering. 

III. VARSITY COLLEGE ATHLETE’S COMPENSATION & RIGHTS / UNIVERSITY RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Varsity college athletes at the University may earn compensation for use of their name, image, and/or likeness for a commercial purpose when the varsity college athlete is not engaged in official team activities. Compensation for a varsity college athlete’s name, image, and/or likeness must be at a rate commensurate for work actually performed and at a rate based on fair market value. All financial ramifications and tax implications related to varsity college athlete compensation for use of their name, image, and/or likeness are the responsibility of the varsity college athlete.
B. An athletics scholarship, including cost of attendance, from the University is not compensation for use of a varsity college athlete’s name, image, and/or likeness. An athletics scholarship awarded to a varsity college athlete by the University will not be revoked or reduced solely as a result of a varsity college athlete earning compensation for use of the varsity college athlete’s name, image, and/or likeness or obtaining professional representation in a manner that complies with these guidelines.
C. Compensation may not be provided to a varsity college athlete for athletic performance or attendance at the University.
D. The University, including staff members, may not compensate or arrange for compensation to be paid to a current or prospective varsity college athlete for their name, image, and/or likeness. In addition, University staff members may not be involved in the development or operation of a current or prospective varsity college athlete’s name, image, and/or likeness activity. It is also not permissible for the University, or third parties hired by the University, to be involved in identifying or securing name, image, and/or likeness opportunities for current or prospective varsity college athletes.
E. The University’s department of athletics will provide education to its varsity college athletes regarding name, image, and/or likeness activities and associated regulations, assist with compliance and disclosure expectations, and serve as a resource by providing information on various name, image, and/or likeness matters.
F. A varsity college athlete may identify themselves as a varsity college athlete at the University while engaging in activities for which they will receive compensation for use of their name, image, and/or likeness. Varsity college athletes will only be allowed to use University trademarks, logos, symbols, phrases, slogans, or any other University intellectual property to further the varsity college athlete’s opportunities to earn compensation for use of their name, image, and/or likeness, if those rights have been secured with a valid agreement granting those specified rights. 
G. Varsity college athletes will not be allowed to utilize Athletic Department facilities while engaging in activities for which they will receive compensation for use of their name, image, and/or likeness. Further, varsity college athletes will not be permitted to use University facilities for name, image, and/or likeness activities. To clarify, this includes when a photograph used shows the varsity college athlete wearing NMU gear, an NMU logo, or shown at a recognizable NMU facility or event. If the varsity college athlete desires to use a photo with NMU gear, logo, or facility/event, the varsity college athlete must work with NMU licensing, currently housed within NMU Marketing and Communications.
H. Varsity college athletes will not be permitted to enter into contracts for use of their name, image, and/or likeness in any prohibited sponsorship category unless prior approval is received from the University. In the event a varsity college athlete enters into a commercial relationship in a prohibited sponsorship category, the varsity college athlete shall be required to terminate such relationship.
I. Varsity college athletes will not be permitted to enter into contracts for use of their name, image, and/or likeness involving a commercial product or service that conflicts with a University contract. For example, a University contract which provides that varsity college athletes are to utilize certain equipment and other goods while representing the University or one of its teams. As a result, varsity college athletes may not engage in name, image, and/or likeness activities that require the varsity college athlete to use, wear, or display a competing brand to that of a University contract.
J. A varsity college athlete who intends to enter into a contract providing compensation to the varsity college athlete for use of their name, image, and/or likeness is required to disclose the proposed contract to the Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance through the NMU Name, Image and Likeness Activity Reporting Form. 
K. A varsity college athlete may obtain professional representation (agent or attorney) for advice, contract representation, and the marketing of their name, image, and/or likeness, so long as the professional representation is not representing the varsity college athlete in securing professional athletic opportunities. Any athlete-agent, advisor, attorney or similar representative representing a varsity college athlete for purposes of securing compensation for the use of their name, image, and/or likeness, must comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations, as well as NCAA regulations, regarding athlete-agents and similar representatives.

IV. CONTACT AND COMMUNICATION
Please direct all inquiries regarding these guidelines to the Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance. The University provides a form upon request to help varsity college athletes remain in compliance with NCAA regulations. The form is at www.nmuwildcats.com

 


Date Approved:5-31-2022
Last Revision:5-31-2022
Last Reviewed:5-31-2022
Approved By:President
Oversight Unit:INTERCLGT ATHLETICS/REC SPORTS