Name, Image and Likeness, or NIL branding as it’s commonly known, has redefined college sports over the last few years. Recently, more companies have launched websites selling player merchandise from a variety of sports through online stores. Sales generated are benefitting players and colleges across the country.

In just a few years’ time, not only did it get easier to find a jersey that includes the name of your favorite college player, but you can also find items like autographs, mugs and hats.

Dave Meluni, a sports management professor at Syracuse University's Falk College, said you can now find more websites working with student-athletes from a variety of sports in Division I through Division III.

What You Need To Know

  • Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) branding has helped redefine college sports

  • More companies have launched sites selling player merchandise

  • Merchandise includes autographed items, mugs and hats

Syracuse University is currently licensed with at least three websites. Those sites work with the Office of Trademark Licensing while both the athletes who opt in and the university get a cut of the sales. Most of the sites, like Players Trunk, the NIL Store and Athletes Thread, offer online-exclusive merchandise made to order.

"It's pretty exciting for the student-athlete when you talk about kids and looking up to idols and you know, simply going to a men's soccer game at Syracuse,” Meluni said, “and next thing you know, there's a player that your son or daughter or even you like. You can order that jersey on your phone from the NIL store.”

Meluni said the online sales wouldn’t necessarily hurt brick-and-mortar stores selling SU or other college merchandise, as those stores still can also work out NIL deals with players and sell their merchandise online. They also can sell shirts much faster should a big game or event occur where they would want to sell shirts immediately.