Atlanta Braves first MLB team to reach an NIL deal with collegiate athletes

Vaughn Grissom

The Atlanta Braves have made history by signing two college athletes to NIL deals, Jordan Yates — a quarterback at Georgia Tech — and Rachel Baumann, a University of Georgia gymnast.

If you don’t know what NIL is, it stands for name, image, and likeness and has changed the college athletics world. For the first time, NCAA policy will allow athletes to make money from their image or name, breaking years of not permitting said money-making opportunities. Essentially, if an athlete lives in a state where legislation has been passed, they can profit from their name, image, or likeness in accordance with the state law. Individual schools can develop their own policies if that state doesn’t have an NIL law on the books. There is one rule: don’t allow boosters to pay athletes and don’t let endorsement deals influence recruiting. 

It is seen as a stopgap until federal legislation is passed. The pair will receive stipends, merchandise, VIP treatment, and commission on tickets sold through their social media. These are two college athletes that will more than likely never play professionally but are being valued and paid by the Braves. It is an interesting marketing move, but their following on social media is the clear prize. This will start to become the norm.

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