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CU Boulder athletes benefiting from new NCAA name, image and likeness policy

CU Boulder partners with The Brand Group
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Posted at 3:29 PM, Apr 24, 2022

BOULDER, Colo. — Student athletes at the University of Colorado Boulder are reaping the benefits of the new NCAA's name, image and likeness policy, which allows college players to earn money through endorsements.

At the start of her student athlete journey with CU Boulder, Jaida Drame could only dream of starting her own business.

“I'd see girls on Instagram getting partnerships with different companies like skincare companies or really just any company. I never really thought anything of it,” said Drame.

Now because of NIL, what was once just a hobby for Drame turned into a full operation called Dramé Apparel.

“When they came out with NIL, and well now you can do that, now you can make money off of your name and who you are on the field and off the field, you as a student also,” said Drame.

Drame designs and even sews her own clothes. She is now able to promote her clothing line on her Instagram and create relationships with businesses.

“It's nice if you're not on full scholarship, you can still supplement. You don't have to go work a job like as athletes, and [being a] student is a full-time job,” said Drame.

For director of athletics at CU Boulder, Rick George, NIL is a positive step for many student athletes.

“I think if it is done right. It is really good for student athletes and it's a great learning opportunity for them to be able to structure business relationships. I think there's a lot of positives, but there are some negatives that we have grave concerns about,” said George.

Those concerns revolve around how far-reaching NIL can be and what student-athletes are being paid for.

“A student athlete ought to be able to monetize their name, image and likeness, and I think if they do it legally and legitimately, I think it's great. I have some concerns about offering somebody $50,000 as an offensive lineman and it really doesn't have anything to do with their name, image and likeness. That's concerning to us, and I don't think that's sustainable,” said George.

Another agency partnering with CU Boulder and other universities across the country is Brandr.

“One way that our agency is able to help support student athletes is we do the work for them,” said director of operations for The Brandr Group, Rachel Maruno.

Through its group licensing program, men and women athletes can profit while using the school’s official trademarks and logos.

“Group licensing is great because it actually gets more student athletes involved and more opportunities created versus a company just putting out products for maybe one-star player. And additionally, everything that comes through our program is officially licensed and it's co-branded with the student athletes,” said Maruno.

Brandr says even if student athletes are already venturing into their own business ideas, partnering with their group licensing program wouldn’t have an impact.

For Drame, it’s an exciting moment to be a part of and one future generation will be able to access for years to come.

"I want to have my Dramé Apparel line and be able to support myself like my athletic career and sponsor myself,” said Drame.