SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Proposal On Using College Athletes In Promos Gaining Momentum

There is the "distinct possibility" that the idea of colleges using student-athletes' likenesses in sponsor promotions "will come up for vote among Division I membership in April," according to Jerry Briggs of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. The concept was discussed last week during the 105th NCAA Convention, and Division I Legislative Council Chair Shane Lyons indicated that it "was 'one of the hottest topics' that the membership will continue to study in the next few months." Briggs reported the legislation is "aimed at avoiding the exploitation of athletes while broadening the scope of what sponsors can do with promotions." The athletes would "need to grant permission for use of likeness," and ADs would "need to approve each activity." The players "would not miss class for promotion," and they would "not endorse commercial products." Under terms of the proposal, a "promotional activity by sponsor of an institution, conference or NCAA must clearly identify [the] entity's sponsor affiliation." Activation that includes "alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or gambling" is not allowed. Univ. of Texas-San Antonio AD Lynn Hickey noted she is "constantly in search of imaginative ways to fund her department." However, Hickey said that the measure "could once again raise the question about whether the NCAA should be paying its athletes" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/16).
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