Sports Court NIL Newsletter | The Science of NIL

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Today’s Case

Wisconsin athletes benefitting from Madison's Exact Sciences

Wisconsin volleyball player MJ Hammill (Photo Credit:

You’ve probably heard the phrase: Most college athletes turn pro in something other than sports.

Exact Sciences is helping student-athletes with just that.

Wisconsin student-athletes are benefiting from the Madison-based company, allowing MJ Hammill and others to seek available jobs in their field post-graduation. Exact Sciences is allowing Hammill the opportunity to find jobs as she's passionate about biomedical engineering, which she's earning a degree in.

Exact Sciences came to the Wisconsin administration last summer searching for student-athletes whose majors were in the healthcare fields. Eight student-athletes were chosen after an interview process. The Wisconsin athletes will benefit from the deal in exchange for payments, and career opportunities. They'll also participate in charity events.

Hammill: “I've gotten to see, kind of top to bottom, all the different roles that (Exact Sciences) have there that you wouldn't even think about. And then they'll even sit down with me and really kind of ask, 'What would you want in a company? What really interests you?’ And their experience and being able to see me as a whole really helps that and obviously adds a lot of guidance to a world that I’m not familiar with.”

The Verdict

  • The ultimate NIL is a job post-graduation

    • Admittedly I’m not the person who came up with the above line, but it’s true: If NIL helps you land a career after college, then NIL has done its job.

    • While most student-athletes might not earn many NIL deals throughout college, ones that can help them over an extended period of time can be beneficial.

  • More long-term and career-focused NIL deals need to take place

    • It’s nice for athletes to get one-off deals: Receive product, receive payment, one social media post, done.

    • However, more deals need to focus on multi-month (and perhaps multi-year) relationships.

      • Bring the student-athletes in for internships, product development and feedback, etc. This will prove to be more valuable in the long run for both sides.

  • Not always about the money

    • While it’s nice for student-athletes to receive financial compensation for their NIL, that is not the only path to a partnership.

      • As noted above: Internships, long-term collaborations, etc. can prove its worth over time with the right athlete and company - and compensation will follow in various forms.

G League Ignite shutting down because of NIL?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted the program will be reassessed due to NIL. Check out this video for more!

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