Sponsored content on Twitter has long been reserved for some of America’s most powerful sports leagues and media companies.
Promoted video tweets from the NFL, PGA Tour and ESPN conveniently find their way onto a user’s timeline with pre-roll ads that tweeters must see to access content. The revenue from those ads is then shared by both Twitter and publishers in a money-making company that produces more than seven-figure campaigns.
Soon, college athletes will be able to access this source of income.
The social media company is partnering with Opendorse on a revenue sharing venture to allow college athletes to monetize their content through the Twitter video sponsorship platform Amplify. The companies announced the deal on Thursday exclusively with Illustrated Sports.
Twitter becomes the first social media platform to launch plans related to athlete compensation, often referred to as name, picture and likeness (NIL). On July 1, for the first time in history, NCAA athletes will be able to use their name, likeness and likeness to benefit from sponsorships and trade deals – the successful end to a widespread nationwide effort to award college stars with the same rights as any other. college student.
The agreement between Twitter and Opendorse, a publisher of sports content, will allow brands, such as Nike, Adidas and Coke, to submit ideas and compensate athletes for participating in Twitter video campaigns built around a selected topic and oriented to the fans of a specific audience.
For example, Nike may propose a $ 100,000 ad campaign on training tips for Division I basketball players. With Opendorse Deals, the company’s supported marketplace, college basketball players who choose to participate in the campaign would create Short video clips about their training, they would post them on their timeline and then, depending on the audience of the clip, they would each receive a portion of the ad. budget, sharing the money with other athletes, Opendorse and Twitter.
Athletes will retain the majority of the revenue generated, Twitter and Opendorse officials say.
“Student athletes have been marginalized,” says David Herman, Twitter’s senior manager of athletic partners. “We want them to see the benefits of their NIL. The real winners are the student athletes. They will be paid based on the actual income from their videos. “
Herman describes this as Twitter’s completion of a comprehensive college sports job landscape. In the past, the content of the company’s college sports sponsorship ads could only be found with media partners such as ESPN, Fox Sports, and the Big Ten Network. Now, the platform is adding actual athletes, who the NCAA had previously banned from participating in such deals.
All that changes in a month. The NCAA plans to lift long-standing amateurism policies in a move pushed by state legislatures that have created laws to give their athletes NIL rights. At least 17 states have passed NIL laws, five of which will go into effect on July 1.
Opendorse’s inclusion in the partnership allows brands to easily launch the platform’s 40,000+ athlete users while ensuring athletes remain within barriers to maintain their eligibility.
It’s hard to predict how much revenue an athlete will generate from an ad campaign, says Blake Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of Opendorse. But he thinks advertisers see the opportunity to connect with college athletes as a “blue ocean.” He says that athletes have an audience of participation 20 times greater than their own teams.
“This is a new world,” says Lawrence.
According to Twitter, it has 187 million daily active users of monetizable advertising, a figure that is expected to increase 3% this year. Advertisers spent $ 808 million on Twitter in the third quarter of 2020.
Herman hopes that advertisers will choose to target athletes beyond the top soccer and men’s basketball stars. Indeed, Lawrence hopes that brands want to be the first to offer mass opportunities to Olympic sport and female athletes.
“The first five years of NIL and specifically this with Twitter will be tied to being the first advertiser to do something,” says Lawrence. “It will matter to be the first advertiser to directly support female soccer players, for example.”
If this sounds like group licensing, it isn’t, Herman says. Group licenses, prohibited by the NCAA and often tied to the sale of video games and T-shirts, provide a one-stop shop for companies looking for multiplayer products or promotional lines.
“There’s a similar mindset to group licensing,” says Herman, “but we think how we’re positioning it and how athletes are choosing to participate remains a very individualized acceptance.”
Athletes are paid for the amount of “charges” their video produces, Herman says. A charge occurs when a Twitter user clicks on the video clip and watches the ad 10 to 30 seconds before the content is published. Sponsored videos will not only be available to an athlete’s followers, but will be promoted through Twitter channels, expanding an athlete’s reach and introducing them to new users.
In simple terms, says Lawrence, the higher an athlete’s following and the higher-quality content they produce, the more likely they are to earn more income. The number of athletes participating in a specific settlement also affects an athlete’s income cut.
For example, if Nike were to spend $ 100,000 on an ad campaign involving five athletes, those athletes, Opendorse, and Twitter would split the $ 100,000 on the revenue sharing model. Specific percentages are not disclosed. The proceeds from a deal will always be added to the contractual amount that the advertiser agreed to spend. Once the advertising campaign is over, athletes receive the funds through Opendorse Deals, where they can withdraw them at any time.
Opendorse is discussing similar deals with other social media platforms, Lawrence says, but many of them are waiting for the legislation to be finalized before agreeing to the terms.
More college sports coverage:
• Congress making critical progress on NIL, Athletes’ rights
• Legislation seeks collective bargaining rights for college athletes
• The Hilinski family persists in advocating for mental health
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.