NIL Summit helps Gators leverage their influence

The University of Florida sent six Gators to the first NIL Summit hosted by the INFLNCR. The event took place June 13-16 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

The summit helped student-athletes across the country learn to use their influence as a gateway to success. It taught them to work alongside brands and become activists in their communities. Each athlete had the opportunity to collaborate and learn from peers, professional athletes, agents, and more.

Gators Trinity Thomas, Elise Bauer, Derek Wingo, Kamari Wilson, Lea Clapet, and Megan Skaggs attended the event. They gained new perspectives on brand collaboration and marketing to help in the new NIL era of college sports.

Wingo of Gator football appreciates the opportunity he had to hear the NIL runs of other student-athletes at the event. “For a lot of these brands and companies, you don’t always know who’s behind it,” says Wingo. “I think it was the coolest thing to have different perspectives from some of the other athletes and how they were able to do that.”

The sophomore linebacker has marketed himself on his own over the past year. However, the summit helped him understand other resources like working with agents that make it easier to find deals. Instead of just taking whatever is offered, he sees student-athletes have the power to decide what offers they want. Wingo has also learned skills that will allow him to use his social media as a powerful resource.

“What opened my mind the most was being able to see all the different athletes who maybe didn’t have the biggest picture and really weren’t playing for the biggest school, but were making deals. agreements with all these companies and could promote themselves in different ways using social media, says Wingo.

In addition to peer views, the NIL Summit allowed a variety of agencies to give their version of NIL. Swimmer Gator Bauer learned that many brands don’t just cater to athletes for their own promotions. “They really want [athletes] grow with it, and make a business out of it… which it’s all about: name, image and likeness. And I think that’s the area I liked the most,” she says. The event created a comfortable environment for student-athletes and businesses to learn about the uncertainties with NIL. knew what was going on. It was kind of a learning process for both ends,” Bauer explained, recalling a valuable discussion she had with a sports marketing agent at her table. The one-on-one conversations with professionals had a positive impact on his journey and his understanding of the NIL.

Along with personal interactions, many student-athletes have been able to apply their leadership skills and gain exposure to corporations. Alligator Gymnast Lea Clapet participated in a panel discussion titled A New Era in Student-Athlete Empowerment. During the chat, Clapper was able to share her NIL journey and explain how she got to where she is today. She says, “The best changes in the way NIL has evolved come from student athletes…because we are the ones who experience it. And we have the power at the start of this brand new era of NIL to shape the future of college athletes.

Clapper started her own service called NIL Island, where she helps other student-athletes navigate NIL offerings and build their social image. She was able to share her brand with other athletes and build partnerships at the event.

Clapper and Skaggs were nominated for the award at the event. During the ceremony, Clapper was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Skaggs took Athlete Advocate of the Year. Both gymnasts are both Florida graduate students with multiple academic and athletic honors. Both were named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans earlier this month.

The event for Gator athletes was highlighted with a powerful speech from former Gator quarterback and Heisman winner Tim Tebow. He had a private athlete discussion about being a teammate and a leader. Students described his discussion as engaging, motivating and relevant. He spoke for an hour and a half about his sporting journey as a student and professional.

Wingo said, “Hearing from someone who has done it all, has experience and knows how to do it the right way was truly amazing.”

Tebow’s inspirational words will stick with student-athletes as they continue to progress in their careers.

Comments are closed.