LSU athletes have landed about 2,000 NIL deals

Almost 2,000 “name, image and likeness” endorsement deals with LSU athletes have been disclosed since the governing body for college athletics began to allow them a little more than two years ago, says Taylor Jacobs, LSU’s associate athletics director for NIL and strategic initiatives.

That may not cover every deal made so far, as the athletes don’t always disclose their deals to the university right away, she says. High-profile brands that have partnered with Tiger athletes include Nike, Puma, Raising Cane’s and Taco Bell, to name only a few.

LSU has had success in the NIL arena despite some hindrances built into state law. For example, college athletes are not allowed to endorse alcohol brands in Louisiana, which other states allow.

Louisiana’s NIL statute was first established in 2021 and tweaked the following year because it ended up being more restrictive than National Collegiate Athletic Association guidelines. Jacobs says she’s happy with current state law. Potential federal legislation could standardize NIL regulation nationwide, though Jacobs shares many observers’ skepticism that Congress will pass anything anytime soon.

She also is watching litigation that could mandate revenue sharing for student athletes. That could lead to athletic department budget cuts at many schools, which she fears could lead to eliminating sports that produce less revenue.

“Most athletic departments are not profitable,” she notes.

While recruiters are not supposed to promise an athlete an NIL deal in exchange for signing with their school, they are allowed to tout the general strength of their school’s NIL opportunities, which is a fine distinction the NCAA seems not to be enforcing much so far.

The Tiger Athletic Foundation and Bayou Traditions, the collective of LSU boosters who fund NIL deals, are competing for some of the same dollars, which can be confusing for donors, she says. Matt Borman, the foundation’s CEO, said in August that NIL so far didn’t seem to be cutting into donations to TAF much.

You can read a recent Business Report cover story about LSU and NIL here.