Matt Brown: How to read an NIL story in 2022

Matt Brown of Extra Points is probably the foremost NIL expert in the media. He specializes in the 'inside baseball' of college athletics, and just put out a fantastic piece that basically boils down to 'don't believe most things you hear about NIL.' It's a 5 minute read; I encourage everyone to read it.

LINK: https://www.extrapointsmb.com/nil-facts-rumors-data-college-sports-expla...

Highlights:

  • There are a lot of NIL numbers reported that just aren't credible, such as ON3 reporting that a 4-star Miami qb received a $9.5M NIL deal (for reference, more than Lamar Jackson makes), just to put out an article days later refuting everything they published previously.
  • Everyone has an angle
    a company makes money by facilitating deals between athletes and brands, well, they're probably going to talk up the growth (or valuation) of that side of the market. If a company is loath to work with collectives, and say, only works with universities, well, they're likely to give you a skeptical perspective on collectives. We shouldn't be surprised if a trademark attorney tells the world that athletes should really retain the services of trademark attorneys.

    The advice and perspective of these individuals isn't necessarily wrong. But it may also be self-interested, and readers and writers should ask themselves if the person quoted in a story benefits in some way by advancing that particular argument.

    This industry isn't that big, and most of the major companies, big collectives and quoteable lawyers are all either in business with each other, or rivals with each other.

  • There's no good (much less complete) data sets out there, so it's impossible to really understand the market right now.
  • "The fine print matters" and often poorly communicated. As brown puts it when discussing Nicholaus Lamaleava's $8m deal: "a deal that "could pay more than $8 million" is NOT an $8 million deal!" He points out that Nico basically gets $350k 'guarenteed', and the rest may/may not come depending on if this kid busts, if he leaves early for the NFL, if he transfers, etc.

Anyways, this is great reporting on (the people reporting on) NIL, and I wanted to share here.

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

I thought this was the most interesting piece in the story:

The fact that some high-level football programs are prioritizing paying the players that are already on the team, versus using NIL to chase down high-level recruits that may not ever play a down at the school for whatever reason or another, is a good thing.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

My first thought when reading that tweet:

The advice and perspective of these individuals isn't necessarily wrong. But it may also be self-interested, and readers and writers should ask themselves if the person quoted in a story benefits in some way by advancing that particular argument.

The guy isn't wrong, but he's also trying differentiate Michigan from their competition.

Twitter me

He can say what he wants in article but he is also stating flat out we have funneled millions to our players. Come to UMich and get paid.

Subscribing to Extra Points is well worth the $.

@sthvt

Yeah, Matt's been killing it in the NIL and new EA college football game spaces.

Dude is the FOIA king

Twitter me

The advice and perspective of these individuals isn't necessarily wrong. But it may also be self-interested, and readers and writers should ask themselves if the person quoted in a story benefits in some way by advancing that particular argument.

I think this is clear, whether it be a story about NIL, or any other story one reads these days. It's true of the media in general.

If y'all remember early on in this NIL stuff, as early as last summer, I told you one of my friends started an NIL firm and I shared his insight that "most of these numbers being reported are wrong and/or exceptionally misleading"

There is no reason for anyone to report these deals accurately. If you report the high numbers, it may reflect positively on your future recruiting. The info from any source is likely to be wrong, stated as such for a specific propaganda purpose, or framed in the most inflammatory fashion for the sake of driving up engagement.