These are some of the frequently asked questions about The Bulldog Initiative and Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) opportunities for student-athletes. If you don’t see your question answered here, please contact us.
What is NIL?
NIL refers to the now-recognized rights of student-athletes to profit from the use of their own Name, Image, and Likeness. This could take place in a number of ways – for example, signing autographs, appearing at events, endorsing products, promoting products or events through social media, the sale of personalized clothing, and in many other ways.
Is it Legal?
Yes. The laws of many states, including the laws of Mississippi and the NCAA interim policy, now allow student-athletes across the country to take advantage of their NIL rights.
The Bulldog Initiative, LLC is committed to ensuring that its activities comply with all NCAA regulations, the laws of Mississippi, and other applicable policies.
Is The Bulldog Initiative affiliated with Mississippi State University?
No. It is a third-party organization unaffiliated with Mississippi State University (MSU).
What is the objective of The Bulldog Initiative?
The Bulldog Initiative was created for the purpose of creating opportunities for MSU student-athletes to take advantage of their Name, Image, and Likeness rights. The Bulldog Initiative accomplishes this mission both by engaging directly with athletes and by identifying other marketing opportunities. The Bulldog Initiative relies largely upon individual and corporate support for its programming.
What sports does The Bulldog Initiative support?
The Bulldog Initiative is responsive to the desires of its donors in attempting to support all men’s and women’s varsity sports at Mississippi State.
Will The Bulldog Initiative take away from The Bulldog Club?
That is not the intent, but we recognize that could happen. The Bulldog Initiative is intended to provide an opportunity to generate additional revenue streams for NIL programs, including corporate contributions, without taking away from the Bulldog Club’s ability to fulfill its mission. We already have donors who have not traditionally given to The Bulldog Club, and we have many donors who have contributed in addition to their normal Bulldog Club giving.
Can I earmark my contribution to specific sports?
Yes. Although unrestricted funds allow us to be the most flexible, you will absolutely be able to identify a specific sport you would like your contribution to support when you participate.
Can I earmark my contribution to a specific student-athlete?
You can request customized NIL deals with a specific student-athlete or group of athletes. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Is my contribution tax-deductible?
On the advice of legal experts and financial advisors, our organization is structured as a Mississippi limited liability company. Given this structure, payments are not tax-deductible nor considered a charitable donation. We do, however, work with business owners and their tax professionals to create marketing programming that would allow them to consider claiming their investments as a marketing expense. We recognize the importance of accommodating charitable giving to support The Bulldog Initiative, and we are in the process of examining a 501c3 charitable component.
Are all student-athlete opportunities the same?
No. Athletes will receive a variety of opportunities to take advantage of their Name, Image, and Likeness. However, we are always looking for ways to increase representation across all men’s and women’s varsity sports.
Will the terms of agreements be made public?
No. The agreements will be held confidential to help ensure the privacy of our student-athletes.
What is the best way to stay updated on The Bulldog Initiative?
Follow us on Twitter @BulldogNIL and Instagram @thebulldoginitiative to get the latest breaking news and insights on our student-athletes and University athletics.
Can’t find your answer here?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to talk with you in detail.