Vondran Legal® Sports Law Representation - Arizona NIL Sports Marketing Law. We have offices in California and Arizona. Call us at (877) 276-5084 for legal representation. We can assist brands, players, coaches, and institutions in NIL marketing, contracts and compliance.
Bonus Materials:Athletes, don't forget, if you have a catchy, unique and distinct sports nickname, it may be wise to seek a federally registered trademark to protect it.
Thanks to new legislation, student-athletes may now legally profit through the use of their name, image and likeness marketing and promotions efforts. If you have a strong social media following on sites like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Reddit or other social media platforms AND you are an accomplished athlete that is highly sought after, you may have significant opportunities "off the field" to make a handsome income. However, it is always prudent to make sure the NIL contracts you are signing contain language, clauses, and terms that are in YOUR BEST INTEREST, and which specifically define the relationship between you and the brand that seeks to hire you. Are firm can help players, coaches, colleges, universities and brands in NIL endorsement deals. Here is what you need to know about Arizona's NIL law. Also note, it is not currently permitted for high school athletes to agree or enter into NIL endorsement contracts and this would result in loss of amateur status.
Arizona NIL Law - Senate Bill 1296
The NIL statute in Arizona is fairly straight-forward and states under A.R.S. §15-1892:
In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Agency contract" means an agreement in which a student athlete authorizes a person to negotiate or solicit a professional sports services contract or an endorsement contract on behalf of the student athlete.
2. "Athlete agent" means an individual who enters into an agency contract with a student athlete or, directly or indirectly, recruits or solicits a student athlete to enter into an agency contract. Athlete agent includes an individual who represents to the public that the individual is an athlete agent. Athlete agent does not include a spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent or guardian of the student athlete or an individual acting solely on behalf of a professional sports team or a professional sports organization.
3. "Athletic director" means an individual responsible for administering the overall athletic program of an educational institution or, if an educational institution has separately administered athletic programs for male students and female students, the athletic program for males or the athletic program for females.
4. "Endorsement contract" means an agreement under which a student athlete is employed or receives consideration to use on behalf of the other party any value that the student athlete may generate because of publicity, reputation, following or fame that was obtained because of athletic ability or performance.
5. "Intercollegiate sport" means a sport that is played at the collegiate level and for which eligibility requirements for participation by a student athlete are established by a national association for the promotion or regulation of collegiate athletics.
6. "Person" means an individual, a corporation, a business trust, an estate, a trust, a partnership, a limited liability company, an association, a joint venture, a government, a governmental subdivision, a government agency, a government instrumentality, a public corporation or any other legal or commercial entity.
7. "Professional sports services contract" means an agreement under which an individual is employed, or agrees to render services, as a player on a professional sports team, with a professional sports organization or as a professional athlete.
8. "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic format or any other medium and that is retrievable in perceivable form.
9. "Student athlete" means an individual who engages in, is eligible to engage in or may be eligible in the future to engage in any intercollegiate sport. If an individual is permanently ineligible to participate in a particular intercollegiate sport, the individual is not a student athlete for purposes of that sport.
Chapter 13, article 10 compliance for Sports Agents in Arizona
Agent activity in the state of Arizona is governed by the revised uniform athlete agents act, the statute for which can be found below:
The AZ revised uniform athlete agents act. Under A.R.S. § 15-1770:
Warning to Student Athlete
If you sign this contract:
Essential Elements to a NIL sports endorsement agreement
Notice to educational institution under A.R.S. Section 15-1771
A. Within seventy-two hours after entering into an agency contract or before the next scheduled athletic event in which the student athlete may participate, whichever occurs first, the athlete agent shall give notice in a record of the existence of the contract to the athletic director of the educational institution at which the student athlete is enrolled or the educational institution at which the athlete agent has reasonable grounds to believe the student athlete intends to enroll.
A.R.S. Section 15-1772 - Student athlete's right to cancel contract
Section 15-1773 - Required records
A.R.S. Section 15-1774 - Prohibited conduct; violation; classification
If you are dealing with a problem with an Arizona sports agent give us a call at the number above.
Here are potential penalties and damages for the illegal conduct of an AZ sports agent under A.R.S. §15-1775:
Under A.R.S. 15-1775:
Social Media Influencer Disclosure Requirements for Social Media Influencers
Colleges and Universities in Arizona
Here are the main colleges and universities in the State of Arizona:
NCAA Arizona Schools
What schools are affected by Arizona NIL?
All institutions with NCAA athletic programs are affected by NIL. In the state of Arizona, the following schools will be affected:
- University of Arizona (Pac-12)
- Arizona State University (Pac-12)
- Grand Canyon University (WAC)
- Northern Arizona University (Big Sky)
- Arizona Christian University
- Benedictine University at Mesa
- Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott
- Ottawa University Arizona
- Park University Gilbert
- Arizona Western College
- Central Arizona College
- Chandler-Gilbert Community College
- Cochise College
- Eastern Arizona College
- Estrella Mountain Community College
- GateWay Community College
- Glendale Community College
- Mesa Community College
- Paradise Valley Community College
- Phoenix College
- Pima Community College
- Scottsdale Community College
- South Mountain Community College
- Tohono O'odham Community College
- Yavapai College
Paid activities a student-athlete can legally do with proper compliance attention
Student-athletes in male and female sports have a wide variety of promotional activities they can engage in, subject to the rules. For example:
- Appear in a commercial
- Make a video
- Online endorsements via social media (ex. Instagram promotion for a company or brand)
- Personal appearance (ex. at a charitable function)
- Signing autographs/memorabilia
- Appear on a podcast
- Appear at a kid camp or clinic
- Provide private lessons in their sport
- Promotional activity for crowdfunding
- Other for-pay (but not for play) endorsement and promotional activities
10 Things a student athlete can do NOW to prepare for a potentially lucrative future in Name, Image and Likeness sports marketing
Here is a great blog I wrote on how to improve your chances to get a NIL sports marketing deal from a brand.
Professional Sports Teams in Arizona
Here are the professional sports teams in Arizona. We can assist most professional athletes with contractual representation, sports marketing, social media disputes and civil litigation:
1. Arizona Cardinals - Located in Glendale, Arizona; National Football League (NFL)
2. Arizona Coyotes - Located in Glendale, Arizona; National Hockey League (NHL)
3. Arizona Diamondbacks - Located in Phoenix, Arizona; Major League Baseball (MLB)
4. Phoenix Suns - Located in Phoenix, Arizona; National Basketball Association (NBA)
5. Phoenix Mercury - Located in Phoenix, Arizona; Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
6. Phoenix Rising FC - Located in Tempe, Arizona; United Soccer League Championship (USL)
7. Real Salt Lake Arizona - Located in Casa Grande, Arizona; United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA)
8. Arizona Rattlers - Located in Phoenix, Arizona; Indoor Football League (IFL)
9. Arizona Hotshots - Located in Tempe, Arizona; Alliance of American Football (defunct)
10. Tucson Roadrunners - Located in Tucson, Arizona; American Hockey League (AHL)
11. Northern Arizona Suns - Located in Prescott Valley, Arizona; NBA G League (G League)
12. Phoenix Mercury - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
13. Arizona United Soccer Club - Located in Peoria, Arizona; United Soccer League (USL) (formerly)
14. FC Tucson - Located in Tucson, Arizona; USL League One (USL1)
15. Phoenix Firebirds - Located in Phoenix, Arizona; Premier Development League (PDL) (closed in 2003)
16. Arizona Outlaws - Located in Phoenix, Arizona; Athletes Unlimited (women's professional softball)
Essential terms of an influencer endorsement agreement
There are careful considerations that should be made before entering into a NIL publicity agreement. Here is a general overview of the main things to be thinking about before signing a NIL endorsement contract.
- Identification of all parties
- Exclusive vs. non-exclusive
- Compliance statements, as noted above
- Deliverables (what will the athlete need to do for the pay)
- Timeframes and deadlines
- Payment specifics
- Intellectual property rights
- FTC influencer compliance obligations
- Termination rights
- Dispute resolution
- Choice of law
FTC Social Media Influencer Compliance
Student-athletes also need to make sure they are complying with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) rules for social media influencers in order to avoid false and deceptive conduct, which can lead to enforcement action. Watch this video overview by Steve Vondran, IP, entertainment and social media attorney.
NCAA Rules in regard to Name, Image and Likeness Student-Athlete Marketing
All student-athletes and their representatives need to ensure compliance with the NCAA rules and regulations. In general, student-athletes cannot enter into any NIL agreement that involves pay-for-play or payment based on athletic performance, such as receiving compensation/incentives for scoring goals or making tackles, or being paid for attending the school (recruiting violations). Additionally, athletes cannot use school logos, trademarks, or other copyrighted material during their NIL endorsements unless permitted by their respective institutions. The NCAA rules also requires schools to educate student-athletes about the rules surrounding NIL opportunities and ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.
Arizona NIL Law states that athletes cannot enter into contracts that conflict with their team contracts. Athletes cannot enter into contracts that conflict with the intellectual property rights of anyone else, including their school. Agents hired by athletes must meet certain licensing requirements. The law does not explicitly require athletes to disclose NIL contracts to their school.
- OpenEndorse platform for athlete and brand connections
- FTC rules for social media influencers
- On3.com - athlete valuations from all sports
- NCAA rules and regulations regarding NIL
Contact an Arizona NIL law firm
We can help with sports agent disputes, NIL sports marketing and endorsement deals for college and pro athletes, NIL institutional compliance with NCAA rules and regulations, intellectual property and social media disputes including mediation, arbitration and litigation. Contact us at (877) 276-5084 or contact us through our online form. Please leave your best phone number to contact you. We are also licensed to practice law and have offices in Newport Beach, Santa Monica, and San Francsico, California.