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US College Sports: NIL deals for foreign student athletes

By Benjamin Fitzmaurice, Special Counsel, Pachmann, Attorneys, Zurich, Switzerland

The American Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is no longer a purely recreational activity for student athletes.

In a dramatic change, the NCAA announced that athletes can now have financial gain from the promotion of "Name, Image, Likeness" (NIL) business, which was previously prohibited.

Because collegiate sports are so popular in the US, this abrupt change has created an entire new industry overnight.

Whilst athletes can make money, agents, managers, NIL companies, consultants, and everyone else involved can also make a buck. Getting the right legal advice is important.

Foreign athletes who are interested in attending a U.S. college can also benefit from NIL deals.

However, accessing such contracts is a complex journey that involves weighing state laws as well as college, sport, and conference rules. Once it is determined what, if any, NIL revenue opportunities exist, further clarification must be made, on such matters as visas, taxes, use of university intellectual property, and so on.

The consequences of violating existing rules can be severe. For example, violating immigration rules can result in deportation and other problems, up to and including bans from competing.

All steps taken by foreign student athletes should be carried out carefully and with professional advice.

Their NIL deals will also need to be appropriately structured, from a tax point of view.


Pachmann Attorneys:


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