Name, Image, Likeness

Mission Statement

The objective of Vanderbilt Athletics’ name, image, and likeness programming is simply to coach and to support: a model to be carried forward as student-athletes graduate and continue their roles as leaders wherever they find themselves. As first and second year student-athletes, this program will coach their already developing leadership skills and prepare them for capitalizing on personal branding opportunities. As they progress and near graduation, student-athletes will be supported by the program with resources, guidance, and experiential opportunities. This enterprising programming will holistically support student-athletes to fully leverage their time on and off campus. 

Focus Areas 

  • Financial Fluency: Students will be prepared with the necessary knowledge and confidence to discuss and perform basic financial necessities in their personal and professional endeavors in order to manage their finances including financial aid, taxes, etc.
  • Social Impact: Student-athletes will be given tools to be changemakers in their communities to supplement experiences on and off the field thus crafting a narrative of leadership experiences. Students will gain an understanding of social impact and socially conscious spaces.
  • Entrepreneurship: Students will develop a personal mission and ethos that is translatable through a variety of social media platforms, present in their communication skills, technical skills, and form the foundation of business pursuits. Additionally, students will learn foundational business models and strategies with a particular focus on startup and social impact businesses. Students will apply their fundamental knowledge through launching themselves.
  • Value Creation: Students will consider their normative ethics against their behavioral to solidify a personal code of ethics. Students will develop skills to discuss holistic worth in future professional, sponsor, or related contractual agreements. Students will develop negotiation skills to assist in determining value, value creation, and value claiming in professional interactions.  
  • Risk Management: Students will understand and navigate complicated contractual language and obligations to be clear of their expectations and their counterparty’s expectations prior to and after committing to a contract. Students will have access to legal resources to determine the validity and compliance regulation of deals. 

Policies

Vanderbilt student-athletes are permitted to use their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”) for purposes of receiving compensation consistent with the NCAA  Name, Image and Likeness Policy beginning July 1, 2021 (with the provisions of Tennessee HB1351 becoming effective beginning January 1, 2022). Outlined below are the requirements and procedures that student-athletes will need to follow in order to receive such compensation.

  • Vanderbilt student-athletes are required to disclose all NIL activities (via Teamworks) prior to entering into an agreement. 
  • All disclosures must include a contract, term sheet, or other acceptable designation of terms. 
  • Tennessee State Law and Vanderbilt NIL policy prohibit activities in the following categories:
    • Alcohol
    • Tobacco/Drugs
    • Adult Entertainment
    • Gambling/Sports Wagering

Please contact James Feeney with any questions pertaining to NIL policy or disclosure procedures.

Restrictions: 

  • Student-athletes shall not miss class to participate in a promotional or NIL activity; 
  • Student-athletes shall not miss required team activities, including practice and competitions, to participate in a promotional or NIL activity. 
  • Student-athletes shall not use Vanderbilt facilities or uniforms in conducting promotional activities without approval from Athletics compliance staff. 
  • The term of the contract may not extend beyond a student-athlete’s participation in an athletic program at Vanderbilt. 
  • The student-athlete shall not be permitted to use Vanderbilt logos, trademarks, trade dress (uniforms), or other intellectual property without obtaining the appropriate license from Vanderbilt prior to such use. 
  • Vanderbilt staff (including coaches) are not permitted to provide or arrange for compensation to student-athletes for their name, image, & likeness. 

Agents/Advisors/Marketing Managers

Who is considered an agent?

An agent is any individual who, directly or indirectly:

  1. Represents or attempts to represent an individual for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation for financial gain; or
  2. Seeks to obtain any type of financial gain or benefit from securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment at an educational institution or from a student-athlete’s potential earnings as a professional athlete.

Any individual who meets the above criteria – regardless of what they call themselves – is considered an agent. Agents are not defined by titles – Advisors, financial advisors, “runners”, marketing representatives, and brand managers are all examples of individuals who could be agents under NCAA rules.

NCAA Rules and State Laws Governing Agents

  1. Student-athletes are permitted to use a third party solely for purposes of assisting with name, image, or likeness contracts for compensation. If any such third party qualifies as an “athlete-agent” as defined by Tennessee law, such third party must be licensed under§ 49-7-2104 and must satisfy the requirements of title 49, chapter 7, part 21. If the third party is an attorney who represents an intercollegiate athlete for purposes of securing compensation for the use of her or his name, image, or likeness, then the attorney must also be active and in good standing with the board of professional responsibility or equivalent entity in the state in which the attorney is licensed. 
  2. Student-athletes (and their family members and associates) may not have a written or verbal agreement with an agent or anyone who will market the student-athlete’s athletics ability or reputation with a professional sports league or organization. This extends to an agreement to have the agent represent them in the future; and
  3. Student-athletes (and their family members and associates) may not accept anything of value from an agent prior to exhausting eligibility.

Vanderbilt University Athlete Agent Policy

Agents who wish to contact current Vanderbilt student-athletes must be appropriately registered in the state of Tennessee through the Tennessee Secretary of State.

Agents wishing to contact student-athletes at Vanderbilt may forward correspondence to:

James Feeney
Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance
615.343.1060
james.j.feeney@vanderbilt.edu
Vanderbilt Athletics – McGugin Center
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN • 37212