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Pfeiffer student-athletes can accept sponsorships, NCAA says

The name, image and likeness (NIL) of Pfeiffer University student-athletes may soon be on social media sponsoring local businesses and more.

With the recent order issued by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Pfeiffer student-athletes can now get sponsorships. (For more on the Governor’s order, click this link:  https://www.thesnaponline.com/2021/07/07/new-n-c-executive-order-sets-parameters-for-college-athletes-and-sponsorships/ )

Mostly, sponsorships will be for athletes to endorse products on websites and social media, but they are not limited to such.

Student-athletes will also be allowed to charge people for their autographs and can be paid to appear in advertising.

In an interview this week, Pfeiffer Athletic Director Danielle Lafferty said the new NCAA ruling will not impact the school directly. However, the ruling can be positive for student-athletes as individuals.

“It’s a great opportunity for an athlete to make money based on their name and being a student-athlete,” Lafferty said.

Along with advertising, Lafferty said Pfeiffer student-athletes may also run their own personal instructional sports camps and clinics.

The order allows institutions to limit what products a student-athlete may endorse. Lafferty noted one limitation could be if a different apparel company tried to endorse a Pfeiffer student-athlete. Currently, the school has a contract with New Balance.

To begin with, Lafferty said monitoring of sponsorship deals will be “a collaboration with all of our administrators in athletics.” That monitoring, she added, would be to ensure athletes “are doing things appropriately” and not including Pfeiffer logos or others which are trademarked.

With the decision being made by the NCAA July 1, Lafferty said many schools are scrambling on how the internal operations of sponsorship deals will work. She added Pfeiffer’s student-athletes will be given the information and guidelines so they can decide regarding sponsorships.

As per NCAA guidelines, Division III student-athletes like those attending Pfeiffer do not receive athletic scholarships.

However, Lafferty said she believes sponsorship opportunities will find Pfeiffer’s athletes and other smaller schools.

“(Student-athletes) will find opportunities themselves just because of how big social media is,” Lafferty said.

She noted many Pfeiffer athletes already have a presence on social media and will now have a way to monetize that stream.

The Pfeiffer athletic director said she does not know how it will all play out for Pfeiffer’s student-athletes. She said those efforts by student-athletes will be on their own free time.

“It’s up to (the athletes) whether they take the opportunity or not,” Lafferty said.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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