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A new app hopes to help small school athletes profit from name, image, and likeness

Posted at 10:03 PM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-08 09:31:44-04

KINGSVILLE, Texas — Since July 2021, college athletes have had the ability to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). You’ve probably heard about the big names making big bucks, like Arch Manning and Angel Reese. A new app has hit the market to help more athletes get paid.

myNILpay is a new mobile app that allows fans to pay their favorite college athletes directly. In return, that fan gets a piece of digital art with the athlete's name and signature on it. The fan has no contact with the student-athlete.

“When you see a great shot, or you're like, oh what a great dig or a great save. And you're just like, I want to help that person. Here's 20 bucks, here's 50 bucks. Whatever your reason, you can do that using myNILpay, where the collectives are more focused on those big dollar amounts and really raising money for the revenue sports,” Brent Chapman said, CEO of myNILpay.

Celebrities like hall of fame basketball coach Nancy Lieberman have been tweeting about using the app to support her Alma Mater.

“So, I went to Old Dominion, I got the women’s basketball team. Every player on that team, select all, got money from me," she said.

Lieberman supports the app because she knows the struggles of being a student-athlete.

“I was two time player of the year. I was still a poor kid from New York City," she said. "I had nothing. I didn’t have money to buy clothes to represent my university or the Olympic team.”

She added the app can take the pressure off the athletes.

"myNILpay will help with that culture of people feeling good about themselves and not less about themselves," she said.

Chapman said this opens the door for more people to pay student athletes. He thinks that can benefit small schools.

“I'm a D3 kid. I created this for the D2 the D3 athletes or the athletes in the under-served non-revenue sports,” he said.

Currently, Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) has about 20-30 student athletes collecting NIL money. Most deals have come from the athletes hometowns or online companies. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) has about 150 student-athletes with an NIL deal.

“Our student athletes have to be able to go find those NIL deals themselves. We don’t have an administrator that is just solely focused on NIL," said Hanna Lantz, TAMUK assistant athletic director for academics and compliance and senior woman administrator

Lantz said she supports athletes using NIL, she’s worried the new app might open the door to more harassment of athletes. What if someone who pays an athlete doesn't like who they then perform?

“I want to protect our student-athletes at all costs," she said. Their experience, their health and safety is of our utmost concern at all times. And, we don’t want to have a fan who becomes a super fan.”

Chapman responded when asked about that concern.

“None of this will happen any more than it already does or doesn’t happen because of our app,” he said.

Officials at TAMUK and TAMU-CC said they want to learn more about the app before using it.

In the meantime, they’ve both partnered with Influxer, a company helping to get athletes' names on apparel and profit off sales.

TAMU-CC also has its collective, Shakas Up Sports, to help its athletes.

myNILpay is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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