Welcome to the Griz NIL Exchange
Connect and work with athletes from
University of Montana
WHAT IS THE GRIZ NIL EXCHANGE?
The Griz NIL Exchange is a student-athlete NIL business registry, custom-designed for businesses, donors, alumni, and any other interested NIL dollars wishing to connect with student-athletes. Registered businesses can search, filter and initiate conversations with your student-athletes to discuss an NIL deal. Once the NIL deal between a registered business and your student-athlete is completed, the business will use the Griz NIL Exchange to create a transaction that will produce a direct payment to the student-athlete and automate a disclosure to the INFLCR Verified Compliance Ledger. The institution does not have to get involved in the deal and all transactions paid within the exchange are consolidated into one 1099 at the end of the year for easier tax reporting purposes for registered businesses and athletes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 using their NIL, or allowing a noninstitutional third party to do so, 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 MONTANA 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. MT Senate Bill 248 went into effect on July 1, 2023. Because each state law (or institutional policy) is different, schools are currently operating under different rules- what is allowed at one state may or may not be allowed at another.
HOW DOES THIS INTERIM POLICY AFFECT ALL OF THE OTHER RULES THAT STUDENT-ATHLETES MUST FOLLOW?
All other NCAA rules remain effective and enforced. Individual NIL activities do not supersede team rules and responsibilities. Student-athletes cannot "contract out of" UM, Big Sky, or NCAA requirements and commitments.
WHO CAN REGISTER WITH THE GRIZ NIL EXCHANGE?
This digital marketplace is open to all businesses, groups of people, and individuals seeking to enter an NIL agreement or participate in NIL activities with UM student-athletes as long as value is exchanged between both parties. Unlike many state laws, ours does not allow institutions to restrict or prohibit the types of companies or industries our student-athletes may work with in their NIL activities.
CAN ALL STUDENT-ATHLETES PARTICIPATE IN NIL?
Current UM student-athletes "opt in" to the Griz NIL Exchange. Participation is voluntary. Incoming student-athletes have access to INFLCR and the Griz NIL Exchange once they arrive on campus. International students, not just student-athletes, are heavily restricted in the type of employment activities that they are allowed to engage in while outside of their home country. Presently, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, part of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, has not issued any modifications to its stance that, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, accepting goods and services may constitute "active income" and performing promotional and marketing services may be considered "employment" in violation of Student Visa stipulations. All international student-athlete NIL inquiries will be directed to UM International Student and Scholar Services. Sport-specific and/or national governing bodies may have their own amateurism rules that are not negated by state law or institutional policy.
WHAT ABOUT PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETES?
Prospective student-athletes (recruits) should consult their state law and/or high school athletics association with questions pertaining to NIL compensation and high school athletics eligibility. The requirement and/or process of PSAs disclosing NIL activities upon committing to UM or upon initial full-time enrollment is to be determined based on the outcomes of the NCAA Amateur Review Process.
HOW IS THE UNIVERSITY INVOLVED IN NIL DEALS?
Neither the University of Montana, the UM Athletics Department, sport programs nor individual UM coaches/staff members are parties to NIL contracts. The student-athlete engages in their NIL activities in an individual capacity.
DOES UM OR INFLCR TAKE A CUT OF GRIZ NIL EXCHANGE TRANSACTIONS?
WHO APPROVES MY REQUEST TO REGISTER & HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN THIS OCCURS?
UM Athletics approves each registration request. You will receive an email confirming your approval and that is when you may begin contacting student-athletes within the Exchange.
AFTER MY REGISTRATION IS APPROVED, WILL I NEED TO GET APPROVAL FOR EACH NIL DEAL I MAKE WITH A STUDENT-ATHLETE?
No. UM student-athletes are not required to obtain institutional approval prior to entering an NIL agreement. Student-athletes are, however, required to report any NIL transaction within 72 hours of entering the contract or before their next scheduled competition, whichever occurs first. This requirement applies to all NIL-related activities, regardless of the formality of the agreement (oral, written, signed, etc.) and the amount of remuneration involved. Once your NIL deal is complete, the Griz NIL Exchange integrates with the INFLCR Verified Compliance Ledger to create a Transaction Report, satisfying the student-athlete's disclosure requirement. These Transaction Reports are monitored by the UM Compliance Office.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF NIL ACTIVITIES?
• A company provides free goods or services in exchange for social media promotional posts
• A restaurant sponsors a group of student-athletes who eat for free and receive a monthly stipend in exchange for appearing in TV commercials and print advertisements
• A store creates a personalized discount code tor a student-athlete to promote and receive a percentage of related sales
• A person hires a student-athlete to make a personal appearance at a party, sports camp, conference, etc.
• A student-athlete charges for their autograph
• A student-athlete creates and sells their own merchandise
• A student-athlete runs a youth sports camp in their hometown
Remember, it is up to the non-institutional third party (business or individual) to determine the value of the transaction!
WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS AROUND STUDENT-ATHLETE NIL ACTIVITIES?
• A student-athlete may not promote, execute, or engage in NIL activities during official team time
• Per NCAA Bylaw 18.104.22.168, a student-athlete may not sell items provided to them by the institution, conference, or NCAA (awards, apparel, equipment, gear) until the student-athlete has exhausted or forfeited their intercollegiate eligibility.
• A student-athlete may not include their complimentary admissions to UM athletics events within an NIL deal
WHAT IS NOT AN ALLOWABLE NIL ACTIVITY?
• "Pay for Play": a student-athlete may not receive compensation because of their athletic participation or performance. Although success on the playing surface may enhance a student athletes NIL market value, remuneration may not be contingent upon athletic achievement.
• Recruiting Inducement: a prospective or current student-athlete may not receive compensation or pre-arranged NIL deals in exchange for their commitment, attendance, initial or continued enrollment at an institution.
• Illegitimate Employment: a student-athlete may not receive compensation for work not actually performed
• Institutional Contract Conflict: state law prohibits student-athletes from entering into a contract providing compensation if the contract conflicts with an existing team or departmental contract. In the event a conflict is determined to exist, UM must disclose to the student-athlete or their representative the relevant contractual provisions that are in conflict.
WHAT ABOUT UM TRADEMARKS & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?
A student-athlete granting a non-institutional third party the right to use their NIL does not extend or include the ability to use the marks and logos of UM, the Big Sky Conference, the NCAA or other protected marks incidental to their intercollegiate athletic participation (i.e., the Nike Swoosh on a UM jersey) unless the entity is a licensee who secures approval through Co- Branding or Group Licensing processes. Intellectual property like photographs, non-competition film and other digital productions that are produced and/or owned by UM Athletics may only be used by student-athletes in a personal, editorial capacity and are not to be used by noninstitutional third parties without permission.
CAN A STUDENT-ATHLETE REFERENCE THEIR UM AFFILIATION DURING AN NIL ACTIVITY?
Yes. A student-athlete is permitted to make a statement of fact confirming their attendance and athletic participation at UM ("I am a senior offensive lineman on the UM Football team and I am majoring in Economics") so long as the usage would not, in any way, constitute endorsement or approval by the University or Athletics Department.
MY NIL DEAL INVOLVES A PHOTOSHOOT WITH THE STUDENT-ATHLETE, CAN I USE UM ATHLETICS FACILITIES?
Student-athletes may not use UM facilities or event spaces in conjunction with NIL activities without going through the same Montana Athletic Rental Facilities process as the general public. This includes paying the going rate and abiding by standard Facilities & Events policies.
CAN UM STUDENT-ATHLETES HAVE AN "NIL AGENT"?
Yes. Under state law, UM student-athletes may obtain professional and legal representation by an "athlete advisor" without jeopardizing their intercollegiate athletics eligibility.
•This professional service provider (PSP) is an individual who provides services to a student- athlete related to their NIL activities and may include, but is not limited to, a brand manager, marketing consultant, tax advisor or public relations agent.
• Per NCAA Bylaw 12.3.1, a student-athlete shall be ineligible for intercollegiate participation should they agree (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing athletics ability or reputation in their sport.
• Student-athletes may enter into an agreement with an athlete advisor for the sole purpose of NIL activities. Working with a PSP who represents the student-athlete in professional sport contract negotiations or for the purpose of securing professional sports opportunities will be considered an impermissible "athlete agent" and such relationship will render the student athlete ineligible.• Student-athletes must disclose this relationship and all related representation agreements to
the UM Compliance Office.
DO STUDENT-ATHLETES PAY TAXES ON NIL DEALS?
We advise our student-athletes to keep track of all taxable income earned from NIL and to be aware that both federal and state tax regulations may apply once they reach a certain annual income. At the end of the year, all transactions within the Griz NIL Exchange are consolidated into one 1099 Form for both registrants and student-athletes to use for tax-reporting purposes.
DOES MONEY MADE FROM NIL IMPACT A STUDENT-ATHLETE'S FINANCIAL AID?
A student-athlete's athletics scholarship is not affected by their personal NIL revenue. Eligibility for federal and need-based financial aid is determined by the student-athlete's (or their parent/ guardian's) Expected Family Contribution. Should the student-athlete make enough money from NIL and file their own tax return, this income could change their EFC and potentially affect their eligibility for federal aid in future academic years.