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The best NIL marketplaces for athletes and brands

Written by Chris Clark

Last summer, the ability for collegiate student-athletes to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness became a reality, and that opened up a world of possibilities for those athletes and for businesses. With so many questions about how these deals would work, there was a need for NIL marketplaces that could connect brands with athletes in a legal, compliant manner.

Since the summer of 2021, several options have emerged, and all have different features and structures.

AthletesForProfit.com has reviewed the top NIL marketplaces for athletes and brands. Hopefully, our guide will help you choose the best option for you.


AthletesForProfit.com has partnered with some great companies which feature products that help our readers achieve their goals of monetizing their brands and taking advantage of NIL. Our website features affiliate links for these companies, and we may receive commissions at no additional cost to you if you choose to purchase. This helps support our free resources for athletes. Before taking actions related to NIL that could affect your collegiate eligibility, know that you are responsible for your actions, including consulting with your institution's compliance department or with legal counsel. Check out our full disclaimer here.

I'm Chris Clark, and I run a successful NIL “collective” at Garnet Trust. I have been in sports media for over a decade, and my mission at AthletesForProfit.com is to help student-athletes across the country in building their brand and monetizing their NIL in a legal and compliant fashion.

Let’s jump right in to answer this very important question.

What are the best NIL marketplaces for athletes?

My top picks are Icon Source, MarketPryce, NOCAP, and Opendorse.


1. ICON SOURCE

Icon-Source

Icon Source was launched by former athlete agent and Red Bull marketing executive Chase Garrett, who has put together a strong team alongside him. Former University of Georgia and NFL punter Drew Butler heads up the college division for Icon Source.

Register on Icon Source today.

It's free for athletes and brands to register on Icon Source. From there, a brand can search a national marketplace of athletes and propose NIL deals to an athlete on the platform.

While plenty of top brands and well-known athletes use this platform to complete NIL deals, Icon Source is also concerned with the 98 percent of college athletes who may not know how to get started with capitalizing on NIL. That's why Icon Source launched the “Icon Access” program. This cool initiative has partner businesses offering brand discounts, cash incentives, or other special offers to athletes in exchange for a social media post. YouTube, Freshly, Mossy Oak, Wild Mike's Ultimate Pizza, and Otter Products are among some of the participants in the “Icon Access” program.

Brands that sign up for Icon Source get access to verified profiles for athletes and a direct line of communication. Deal proposals will automatically populate a contract, and payments can be sent through the secure Icon Source platform.

Athletes that register for an Icon Source profile will have the opportunity to be seen by brands and businesses, which could lead to NIL money-making opportunities.

Other key features of Icon Source include: 

  • App-based, all communication and deals are completed within the app
  • Businesses must use a contract, which can protect athletes from a business and eligibility standpoint
  • Deals are automatically disclosed to schools or the school's desired reporting software
  • Athlete receives one 1099 tax form at year's end based on all deals completed within the platform

NIL deals with Icon Source

Cost Structure

Icon Source takes a cut from each side of deals between athletes and brands.

  • Athletes– 10%
  • Brands – 10%

 Athletes, you can sign up for an Icon Source profile here today.


2. NOCAP Sports

INOCAP Sports' team is led by former Division III athlete Nicholas Lord, and so it's not a surprise that NOCAP's mission is to “give every athlete regardless of school, sport, level or background, equal access to the best technology and resources to maximize their name, image and likeness.”

Register on NOCAP Sports today.

It's free for athletes and brands to register on Icon Source. From there, a brand can search a national marketplace of athletes and propose NIL deals to an athlete on the platform. Athletes can also apply to posted opportunities from brands.

NOCAP's new athlete profiles are sleek and contain lots of information, like advanced social media metrics.

Brands that sign up for Icon Source get access to verified profiles for athletes and a direct line of communication. Deal proposals will automatically populate a contract, and payments can be sent through the secure Icon Source platform.

NOCAP gives collegiate institutions a free portal to track and monitor their student-athletes' NIL deals for compliance purposes.

Other key features of NOCAP Sports include: 

  • App-based, all communication and deals are completed within the app
  • Businesses must use a contract, which can protect athletes from a business and eligibility standpoint
  • Deals are automatically disclosed to schools or the school's desired reporting software
  • Athlete receives one 1099 tax form at year's end based on all deals completed

    Cost Structure

    NOCAP Sports takes a cut only from the brand side in deal transactions.

  • Athletes– Free
  • Brands – 15% transaction fee

 Athletes, you can sign up for an NOCAP Sports profile here today.


3. MarketPryce

Market-Pryce-Small

CEO Jason Bergman describes MarketPryce as a “dating app” for brands and athletes. The company notes that NIL marketplace deals can be closed in just three clicks.

Register on MarketPryce today.

Athletes that join MarketPryce will fill out a profile that includes location and social media information, and brands can search this NIL marketplace to engage with athletes and work on marketing deals.

Messaging between athletes and brands can be done within the app – and is encouraged by MarketPryce.

For brands, MarkePryce provides a DealScore, which is a rating on a scale of 1 to 10 showing how quality a potential deal is based on athlete social media followings and engagement.

Funds for deals are held securely in escrow until completed by an athlete and then released via PayPal or Venmo.

Other key features of MarketPryce include: 

  • App-based, all communication and deals are completed within the app
  • Brands use proposals as a form of a contract, outlining the payment and expected deliverables
  • Free product deals and cash deals offered by brands to athletesMarketPryce

Cost Structure

MarketPryce has four pricing structures, one each for brands, athletes (pro or college), and agents.

  • Athletes– $15/month (0% commission taken from deals); higher tiers include access to strategy calls, a networking community, and personalized recommendations
  • Brands – 5% on cash deals

 Athletes, you can sign up for a MarketPryce profile here today.


4. Opendorse

opendorse-logo

While Opendorse has many products in the NIL space, its “Deals” platform is another option that student-athletes can turn to for NIL transactions..

Register on Opendorse today.

Athletes can register for free, filling out and customizing a profile that will get them a listing in the directory. Businesses can design online or off-line deals and make pitches quickly to athletes.

Huge brands and local brands alike can play in this space, and indeed some of the most well-known businesses like Chipotle, Playstation, Gillette, Titleist, and Lowe's are in the “Deals” platform.

Brands are able to measure analytics on social media campaigns, and payouts are done through a connection with Stripe. Athletes will fill out a W9 tax form as part of a profile.

Other key features of Opendorse include: 

  • All communication, deals, and payouts are done through the platform
  • Athletes can disclose deals through Opendorse Monitor
  • Advisors and/or agents can be added to athlete's profiles to check progress in real time.

opendorse-screenshot
Cost Structure

  • Athletes– Free
  • Brands – 30% transaction fee

 Athletes, you can sign up for a OpenDorse profile here today.


5. Dreamfield

dreamfield-logo

This company was another one of the early entrants into the NIL marketplace, and provides brands, fans, and athletes the chance to connect on its platform.

Register on Dreamfield today.

Dreamfield is also getting into the “NIL collective” space, having launched Mission Control (UCF) in 2022. 

Once a brand finds a player it wants to work with on a NIL deal and selects an opportunity, Dreamfield takes over by handling the contracting and compliance end. Marketing campaigns, live appearances, and influencer campaigns are all at the disposal of brands, and there's a large roster of players to search.

Athletes can set and display hourly rates for services on Dreamfield, and the group has also broken into the world of NFTS.

Other key features of Icon Dreamfield include: 

  • Resource center for athletes and businesses
  • Athletes paid via Stripe within 48-72 hours of service completion
  • Business can perform Direct Booking with an athlete, or post a campaign and have athletes apply
  • Athlete receives one 1099 tax form at year's end

Dreamfield

Cost Structure

Brands pay a fee for booking on Dreamfield, while there is no cost to athletes.

  • Athletes – Free
  • Brands – 15%

 Athletes, you can sign up for an Dreamfield profile here today.


6. Matchpoint

matchpoint-logo
This app – free to download – is another way for brands and talent – aka intercollegiate athletes – to find each other for sponsorships and endorsements.

Register on Matchpoint today.

This platform uses a unique algorithm to make it easier for each party to match with each other, which can take away some of the hassle of manually searching for fits. Musicians, models, and bloggers also do endorsement deals on the Matchpoint platform.

Land Rover, Smoothie King, and Mercedes-Benz are among the brands to have completed deals on the platform, according to Matchpoint.

Other key features of Matchpoint include: 

  • All app-based on iOS or Google Play
  • Suggested brands feature for athletes to help make connections
  • Contracts may be uploaded between parties
  • Easing tax record-keeping by dispensing receipts automatically

Matchpoint

Cost Structure

Brands pay a fee for booking on Dreamfield, while there is no cost to athletes.

  • Athletes – 9%
  • Brands – 9%

 Athletes, you can sign up for an Matchpoint profile here today.


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