- Feb 3, 2018
- The attorney who negotiated last week an $8 million deal between a 5-star recruit and an NIL collective believes the spending spree in the NIL space has just begun — and future deals will only get bigger.
“I believe it's just going to keep going up for sure, without a doubt,” attorney Mike Caspino said. “There will be deals and there will be larger deals than this. We’re still in our infancy here. We haven’t reached adolescence yet in our NIL lifetime.”
-Caspino represents a 5-star recruit in the Class of 2023 who signed an agreement with an NIL collective that could pay him more than $8 million before the end of his junior year as a college athlete. The player’s identity, along with the NIL collective, has remained private, but Caspino shared details of the agreement that includes an initial payout of $350,000, followed by monthly payments that could pay him more than $8 million by the end of the player's junior year in college.
- Caspino said he jumped into the NIL realm when his sons’ friends began inquiring about NIL deals as athletes. The Newport Beach, California native now represents between 25 and 30 athletes across the country.
“The message needs to go out to these athletes is that this is not a take-it-or-leave-it deal that’s handed to them,” he said. “They have to read it, understand it, and they have to make sure that they're pushing back on terms that they find objectionable.”
- Meanwhile, many athletes are negotiating deals without an attorney and agreeing to contracts that require repayment or a percentage of an athlete’s future earnings after college.
Many NIL collectives are not just well-funded but they also receive help from rabid fans with law degrees and decades of business experience. Think of them as Sport Super PACs.
- Caspino said he is aware of athletes with deals who have not been paid, and there is no legal remedy as companies continue to use their likeness.
"I've seen their contracts. They didn’t have a lawyer look at it. They just saw dollar signs and they signed a bad contract," Casino said. "That’s my No. 1 concern. I don’t represent the collectives, I present the athletes. My job is to ensure their eligibility … and to have options. They're going to become an indentured servant to somebody."
- NIL collectives in Tennessee and Florida have set fundraising goals in the neighborhood of $30 million per year. The end goal is clear: lure the best of the best to their favorite schools and win championships.
“We’re a fan club,” said Eddie Rojas, a financial advisor and former Florida pitcher who started Florida’s NIL collective. “We’re here to provide fans amazing experiences and opportunities.”
The Gator Collective raised more than $44,000 in subscription sales in January and employs between 10 to 15 professionals. They hope to open an office in Gainesville in the future.
"These collectives are extremely well funded by an alumni network that previously could not make these types of financial contributions to affect their teams and now they can," Caspino said. "… If generous alumni are always going to be there for this cause, then this is just going to go up and up and up."