bluff city nil

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All about Name, image, and likeness

How does NIL work?

In college athletics, "name, image, and likeness" (NIL) refers to the rights of student-athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness. This includes the right to endorse products, the right to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness in advertising or media, and the right to receive payment for other activities that involve the use of their name, image, or likeness.

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how it all works

the NIL Process
explained step by step

Fans and Businesses make a tax deductible donation to Bluff City NIL through Coaching for Literacy.
Bluff City NIL creates a media opportunity with the student-athlete.
The student-athlete agrees to the media opportunity or another initiative.
Once the media opportunity or other initiative is complete the student-athlete is paid.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an NIL activity?

NIL stands for Name, Image, and Likeness. An NIL activity involves the use of a student-athlete's name, image, or likeness for promotional purposes by a third-party not associated with U of M. This includes social media influencing and other promotions such as: personal appearances at business, conferences, camps, parties, TV ads, radio ads, print ads, endorsements of a third-party, student-athlete-run camps, private lessons, autographs, sale of student-athlete-owned apparel and/or personal items, and student-athlete run businesses.

How does Bluff City NIL work?

Bluff City NIL enters into Name-Image-Likeness Agreements (“NIL Agreements”) with University of Memphis student-athletes. Under the NIL Agreement and in return for compensation, a student-athlete licenses his or her publicity rights to Bluff City NIL, and Bluff City NIL utilizes the publicity rights by promoting the student-athlete on this website, at events, and in other ways. Compensation is paid once the activity, media opportunity, or other engagement is complete. 

How do the players get paid?

Student-athletes who participate in a designated NIL activity will receive payment from the Bluff City NIL non-profit organization, with zero service fees deducted from the payment. Student-athletes will have access to financial advisors for guidance and learning opportunities.

Is Bluff City NIL affiliated with the University of Memphis or Tiger Scholarship Fund?

Bluff City NIL is completely independent from the University of Memphis and the Tiger Scholarship Fund. While we are separate entities, we share a similar mission, to serve University of Memphis student-athletes.

Are donations made to Bluff City NIL tax deductible?

Your donation to Bluff City NIL is made through our charity partner, Coaching for Literacy, may qualify for an income tax deduction in accordance with Federal and/or State income tax laws.

Please consult with your tax advisor to determine whether your donation is tax deductible in whole or in part. Nothing in this communication is intended to constitute legal or tax advice

Can a Bluff City NIL student-athlete enter into other NIL agreements with third parties?

Yes. All of Bluff City NIL Agreements with student-athletes are non-exclusive, which means that a student-athlete may enter into additional NIL Agreements with other businesses or third parties. 

What are some of the ways that I can support Bluff City NIL?

You can contribute monetarily to Bluff City NIL on a one-time or recurring basis and help the program meet the contractual obligations it incurs in licensing the publicity rights of University of Memphis student-athletes.

Your business can advertise with Bluff City NIL, and become a named sponsor on our partner Bluff City Media website. 

You can contact Bluff City NIL about utilizing a specific University of Memphis student-athlete for advertising, product development and marketing, or for any other legitimate business purpose. 

You can purchase Bluff City NIL merchandise, player-branded merchandise (when available), and participate in fan-player events.

Is Bluff City NIL legal?


The Tennessee NIL Law (effective July 1, 2021) legally authorizes the activities of Bluff City NIL. Under the Law, individuals or entities acting independently or “collectively” may compensate a student-athlete for license of his or her publicity rights. The Law prohibits regulatory bodies, such as the NCAA, from infringing upon the student-athlete’s right to receive NIL compensation and bars the NCAA from penalizing University of Memphis and its athletic programs for any activities which are permitted by the Law.

What are the NCAA rules regarding the NIL?

Generally, all NIL activities are permitted, so long as they follow these 4 guidelines:

• The NIL agreement is quid pro quo (e.g., compensation for work performed)
• The NIL compensation is not contingent upon enrollment at a particular school
• The compensation is not based on athletic participation or achievement
• Institutions do not provide compensation in exchange for the use of a student-athlete’s NIL

NCAA rules also require student-athletes to follow their state law or institutional policy if there is no existing state law governing NIL activities.

How much of the money raised by Bluff City NIL will go directly to the University of Memphis student-athletes?

It is the goal of Bluff City NIL to provide the most lucrative NIL opportunities to University of Memphis student-athletes. We strive for 80% of all money donated to benefit student-athletes directly. However, administrative costs are required to cover essential overhead and expenses related to technology, marketing materials, content creation, photography, videography, and fan engagement experiences.

Can I just get a commercial or social media video made with a University of Memphis student-athlete?

Absolutely. Our goal is to facilitate lucrative media opportunities for University of Memphis student-athletes. Agreements made with any student-athlete are non-exclusive so they are free to pursue all opportunities that continue to build their own brand.

Are all of Bluff City NIL agreements for the same amount?

No. The contract amounts vary based on the specific student-athlete and the value of his or her publicity rights. For instance, higher-profile athletes may receive more compensation than lesser-known athletes. Each NIL Agreement is individually negotiated and agreed upon by the student-athlete and Bluff City NIL.

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