$137,000? Determining The True Value of a College Athlete (It's Getting Easier)
The company at the forefront of determining true market values of college athletes.
For more than 150 years, college athletes have made the NCAA billions of dollars without being able to monetize their own likeness.
In July 2021, NIL rule changes allowed these athletes to profit for the first time in history.
A gold rush has ensued to build out the proper infrastructure.
Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is predicted to evolve into a multi-billion dollar industry in college sports over the next few years.
It is up to teams, university collectives, and athletic departments to position their athletes to be successful both on and off the field.
Let’s dive in 👇
How Much Are College Athletes Really Worth?
One of the major on-going debates is around the true market-value of college athletes.
But there’s a lot of gray areas, because with over 450,000 NCAA athletes, you can’t put them all into the same bucket.
So the real question becomes, what is the market value of FBS football players and Division 1 men’s basketball players? (we’ll touch on women athletes later)
In 2013, the NCPA and Drexel University released a study on how much college athletes would be worth on the open market.
Average fair market value conclusion:
FBS football player = $137,357/year
Men's D1 basketball player = $289,031/year
The average player earns just $23,204 in scholarship money, along with a $2,000 stipend.
Think that’s good enough?
Less than 7% of the revenue from college football and college basketball (worth billions of dollars) ends up going to the athletes in the form of academic scholarships and stipends.
In the NBA/NFL — players receive 50% of the revenue.
If you used that revenue-sharing model in college sports, football and basketball players would collectively receive $6.2 billion.
But how do you assign a dollar amount to each individual player?
Generating a “Buzz” Number
You know how critical I’ve been of valuing college athletes based on just 1 social media post.
It’s because there are a lot of other factors that go in to this:
talent level of the player
Luckily, a company by the name of BuzzU has put all of their resources and software towards determining this “true” value.
Buzz Scores are unique marketability rates, which aim to democratize the NIL space through data analytics.
It’s a massive opportunity for:
University Collectives to both fundraise and match local companies with their athletes using data
NIL Marketplaces/Education Firms to use buzz scores to facilitate deals and equip their users with the tools to navigate NIL
Schools, Athletes, and Companies looking to protect themselves as laws, rules, and guidelines change in the near future
Determining The Value of a ‘Buzz Score’
BuzzU currently has data on every player across FBS Football in the country, along with top Men’s College Basketball conferences, and is expanding their 13,000+ player database by adding more sports throughout 2022.
Here’s why I like what they’re doing:
Unbiased true values of athletes
Led by a former D1 football player (Zach Novoselsky)
No agenda behind their numbers
Help major NIL companies make better decisions
There are a few major differences between BuzzU and other similar data analytics companies.
Competitor’s mainly focus on social media engagement and following, BuzzU instead measures a combination of data from on-field performance, social media (using sentiment analysis) and search engines.
Buzz U believes that players have a much bigger impact than followers and likes, and have seen those numbers become easily manipulated.
They are able to quantify how the ‘buzz’ and outside publicity is impacting each player’s marketability through their proprietary algorithms.
In addition, BuzzU has the ability to compare player’s local marketability rates around each conference. Allowing players to leverage their data in partnership negotiations.
From what I’ve read, their software updates every week and the true value number of these athletes will continually improve with every new data point.
I’m a firm believer, that we need technology to help assign values to college athletes so we’re all on the same page.
The value of a college athlete holds continues to increase year over year.
Thanks to NIL, athletes are now able to monetize through endorsements, partnerships, and other creative ways.
Up until now there was no easy way to determine what an athlete is worth.
That made it difficult for everyone:
Buzz U has finally created a solution that aims to solve this problem.
Time will tell.
Get after it this week. Q1 is in the rearview.