Sports Court #36 | Don't Mess With Texas

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Today’s Case

Southwest Sports Partners launches Lone Star NIL, the nation’s first state-specific marketplace program

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Lone Star NIL, LLC announced its official launch as a first-of-its-kind (NIL) program established exclusively for Texas-based collegiate student-athletes enrolled at in-state universities and colleges. The launch represents the nation’s first-ever independent NIL program with a single statewide focus since collegiate NIL activity began in 2021.

The program, spearheaded by Tom Burnett, current president and CEO of Southwest Sports Partners and former Southland Conference Commissioner, will look to deliver on its primary focus of developing direct relationships between Texas student-athletes and Texas-based companies and charitable organizations.

Burnett: “While name, image and likeness opportunities have increased across the college sports landscape, most Texas student-athletes remain underserved by limited NIL options. We know many local students and parents want a better understanding of NIL, and at the same time, it’s clear that Texas businesses of all sizes could potentially benefit from getting more actively engaged in this exciting space.”

The Verdict:

  • The state of Texas is betting on themselves - and I fully support it

    • By keeping dollars and deals in-state, you build loyalty from athletes and businesses for NIL deals. Additionally, you might limit athletes from transferring out of state, as they would all but lose out on any current or potential deals by leaving Texas.

      • This is also a great way to build relationships with Texas high schools to support keeping players in state.

  • This is NOT easily replicable across other states - making this program even more unique

    • If you’ve ever spent time in Texas, you’ll quickly learn how much Texans LOVE their state; there is something to be said about undying loyalty to their state - and this is one major factor why this would work in Texas and not in other states.

      • Additionally, Texas has the good fortune of having multiple major cities in state with large populations, colleges and high schools, and donors and boosters to tap into.

  • Interested in the logistics of this program

    • As this seems like a large undertaking, would like to see the details of this undertaking. (Business development, efforts, staffing, number of organizations committed, how many NIL deals were brokered/executed, etc.)

      • This info might not be available for several months, but if done right, this could be massive.

I’ll be moderating an NIL panel at Hashtag Sports in New York City tomorrow!

The discussion with MOGL and NBC Sports Group will focus on “The Empowered Era: NIL for All Athletes.” Click here for more info and hope to see you there!

Question of the Day

Will a state-specific NIL program succeed long-term?

  • Yes

  • No

Vote on the Sports Court Instagram Story and comment below.

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I discuss insights and news related to name, image and likeness in 3 minutes or less every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12p ET/9a PT.

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