The St. John Bosco football team, one of the top high school programs in the nation, has reached a name, image and likeness (NIL) agreement with a Dallas-based sports performance and wellness group that might be the first ever to pay all members of a high school team.
The deal was announced Monday by KONGiQ Sports Performance, which said it will “provide an NIL opportunity to each member of the St. John Bosco High football team for the 2022 season …”
Sources told the Southern California News Group that the deal, which is optional for each player on the varsity team, is worth $400 per player, made in two payments ($200 per semester).
Bosco’s 70-plus varsity players will have the opportunity to become what’s known as an “influencer” for the KONGiQ App as part of the iNPOWERiQ program. They will be contractually obligated to post personal experiences using the KONGiQ Sports Performance system on their own personal social media accounts and also on the KONGiQ App.
The deal is notable because it appears to be the first that is a team-wide arrangement. For some, it’s more notable for what it means about the future of high school sports.
In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that collegiate athletes can monetize their name, image, and likeness. This allowed college athletes to sign endorsements and still retain their college eligibility.
Soon after, California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), which governs high school sports in the state, stated its position that high school athletes have similar NIL rights.
The CIF constitution and bylaws state that “any student-athlete can be compensated for their name, image, and likeness, so long as there is no recognition of the student-athletes’ school, school logos, uniforms, or insignia.”
The CIF bylaws further explain that a student-athlete shall become ineligible if they are “wearing a school team uniform or any identifying school insignia while appearing in any advertisement, promotional activity or endorsement for any commercial product or service” or “lending his/her name and team affiliation for purposes of commercial endorsement.”
Last May, Nike secured its first NIL deals with athletes at the high school level, signing sisters Alyssa and Gisele Thompson of Harvard-Westlake to a multi-year deal worth an undisclosed amount.
Alyssa and Gisele are soccer players at Harvard-Westlake who have experience with Team USA national soccer and are committed to Stanford.
Los Alamitos senior quarterback Malachi Nelson (USC commit) signed an individual deal with Klutch Sports Group last week for NIL opportunities. That is the same agency that represents Lakers superstar LeBron James.
Nelson is Klutch Sports Group’s first high school football client. He could be in line for historic NIL contracts in high school and in college.
— Klutch Sports Group (@KlutchSports) August 18, 2022
St. John Bosco kicks off the 2022 season Friday in Allen, Texas, with a game in a $60-million high school stadium that holds 18,000 fans.
Bosco will also play a game this season at the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium on Sept. 9.
“Our faculty and staff do an amazing job preparing our students to achieve at the highest levels in academics and athletics,” St. John Bosco President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Wickstrom said via a press release Monday, “so they are ready to excel at the top higher education institutions in the country.”
California is one of 14 states that sanction NIL opportunities for high school students.
“Actors, models, singers and musicians in high school have been earning from their talents and Name, Image and Likeness for years, and now as media changes, we see young product influencers making large sums as well,” said Mouzon Bass, CEO and president of Bass Enterprises, which owns iNPOWERiQ, KONGiQ, HealthiQ.
“In this new reality, students now also have the opportunity to earn, and learn about their own brand and marketing themselves, while enhancing their performance, health and fitness.”