Manatt Digital and Technology Counsel and Director Matthew Reece was quoted in Student Housing Business on best practices for student housing operators as they navigate the legal complexities surrounding potential engagements with NCAA student-athletes seeking to monetize their name, image and likeness rights.
In the article, Reece noted the importance of operators doing their due diligence in selecting the right student-athlete to engage with, “not just from a morality standpoint but also finding someone who is authentically the right fit for the brand, and vice versa," he said. "In other words, the student-athlete [should] come off as really believing in the values or mission of the company, with authenticity being key."
Reece also offered advice for contract negotiations—such as including morals and non-disparagement clauses in addition to clear guidelines concerning intellectual property—in order to ensure that the school’s and athlete’s interests are both aligned and protected. "The key is to make sure that these are actually sponsorship or endorsement deals that are compliant with applicable state laws and school policies, not pay-to-play or recruitment inducements that would threaten student-athlete eligibility," he commented. "It is critical to have a proper endorsement contract, with fair market value compensation that is tied to clear and understandable promotional obligations, that is disclosed to the school and includes flexibility to handle any rule changes."