Welcome to the Buffs NIL Exchange

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What is the Buffs NIL Exchange?

The Buffs NIL Exchange is a student-athlete NIL business registry that is designed for businesses, collectives, and individuals wishing to connect with and support CU student-athletes. Registered businesses can search, filter and initiate conversations with our student-athletes to discuss potential NIL activities. Once an NIL deal between a registrant and a student-athlete is complete, the Buffs NIL Exchange automatically produces a no-fee direct payment to the student-athlete as well as a transaction report to the INFLCR Verified Compliance Ledger, as required by Colorado state law. At the end of the year, all transactions within the Buffs NIL Exchange are consolidated into one 1099 Form for tax-reporting purposes for both registrants and student-athletes.


What is Name, Image & Likeness?

“Name, Image, and Likeness” or “NIL” is a common phrase used to refer to an individual’s rights of publicity - the ability to control and use one’s own unique identity for commercial promotion.

As of July 1, 2021, NCAA student-athletes are permitted to earn compensation from the use of their NIL by themselves or a noninstitutional third party without harming their intercollegiate eligibility or athletics scholarship. 

What is an NIL deal?

A permissible NIL agreement is like a job: a quid pro quo agreement in which value is exchanged between the student-athlete and a noninstitutional third party. The student-athlete earns the compensation by performing a service or otherwise providing value to a third party (a business, a collective or a person). It is up to the third party to determine fair market value of the transaction. 

This exchange of value may include, but is not limited to, transactional activities like endorsements and sponsorships, publicity activities such as appearances, autograph sessions or monetizing a YouTube channel as well as entrepreneurial ventures like selling merchandise, conducting sports camps, or operating their own product or service-based business. 

Does Colorado have an NIL state law?

Yes. Instead of legislation, the NCAA issued an Interim Policy directing schools located in a state with an active NIL law to follow those regulations in place of NCAA rules when governing student-athletes’ rights of publicity. Schools without a state law were able to create institutional rules. CO Senate Bill 20-123 went into effect on July 1, 2021.

Who can register with the Buffs NIL Exchange?

The Exchange is open to all businesses, groups of people, and individuals seeking to enter an NIL agreement or participate in NIL activities with CU student-athletes so long as value is exchanged between both parties. 

Individual University employees, staff members, faculty, etc. may register with the Exchange and conduct business with student-athletes in the same manner as all other registrants, provided any resulting agreement is made in good faith of not attempting to circumvent NCAA legislation associated with impermissible inducements and/or extra benefits. 

How is the University involved in NIL deals?

Neither the University of Colorado not Athletics Department are parties to student-athlete NIL contracts. The student-athlete engages in their NIL activities as an individual, not as a representative of CU Boulder. 

A student-athlete granting a noninstitutional third party the right to use their NIL does not extend or include the ability to use the marks and logos of CU Boulder, the Pac-12 Conference, the NCAA or other protected marks incidental to their intercollegiate athletic participation (i.e., the Nike Swoosh on a CU jersey) unless the commercial entity is a licensee who secures approval through Co-Branding or Group Licensing processes. For licensing-related inquiries, please contact licensing@colorado.edu. 

Does the school or INFLCR take any revenue from NIL transactions from the Buffs NIL Exchange?


Who approves the request to register & how will I know when this occurs?

CU Athletics approves each registration request. You will receive an initial email upon receipt of your registration. You will then receive an email confirming your approval and that is when you may begin contacting student-athletes through the Buffs NIL Exchange. 

Can I register as an individual?

Yes! When you complete the Business Information, you will be required to fill out all of the sections except the EIN. You can include your LinkedIn or social media page for the website, and a headshot for the company logo.

Does the Buffs NIL Exchange make me an official licensee of the University?

Using the Buffs NIL Exchange does not make the company a licensee of CU Athletics, and any business must follow the appropriate procedures to become a licensee and follow all intellectually property rules.  Information on how to become a licensee with CU Athletics can be found here.

Additional Resources

NIL Program Link

State Law - Senate Bill 20-123