Big Changes Upending the College Football World

Roiled by Conference Realignment, the Transfer Portal, NIL, and Big Media Deals

It’s a “Whole New Ballgame” in college football, so stated a recent story in Sports Business Journal, which covered the groundbreaking developments on NIL, the transfer portal, blockbuster media rights, and conference realignment. 

Several impacts have come along in what the journal dubbed “The Year of Change” for college football. And the story cited an ESPN  survey of 2000 stakeholders suggesting that seismic changes will continue into 2023. The College Football Playoff, currently owned by the 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame, will expand, they said. Conferences will continue to realign, and universities and colleges will pay players directly, a majority said. 

The level of change in the college football world in the last year has truly been unprecedented. And with it, startups and innovators are creating tech that can help schools, teams, coaches, and athletes navigate this new terrain, driving more value for all involved.

Several startups are helping college athletes in football and other sports to negotiate the ins and outs of Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) transactions, among them: 

  • Philadelphia-based Nocap Sports, which secured US$2.5 million in seed funding in November 2021, is a  platform offering automated, compliant, transparent and verified NIL related transactions so students can ensure they operate within the rules. More than 61 universities have signed up as partners to help their students navigate what can be a daunting process monetising their NIL rights (Source: SportsPro Media). 
  • Social media marketing platform Opendorse has agreed to a new strategic partnership with US Bank which will provide financial literacy education to U.S. college athletes seeking to sign NIL endorsement deals. Through the new pact, financial education and college banking experts will collaborate with curriculum specialists at Opendorse to help college athletes navigate the NIL space via a personalized financial literacy program (Source: SportsPro Media). 
  • MoneyLion and INFLCR, an NIL-business-building software platform helping student-athletes stay compliant with new NIL regulations, formed a partnership to make MoneyLion the official money app of INFLCR and its student-athletes. Through the partnership, the companies will work together to teach the next generation of student-athletes how to  manage money through engaging and easily digestible educational videos, which will cover topics such as improving credit scores, money-saving hacks and investing (Source: BusinessWire). 


Chris Traeger
Executive Director