The NCAA made a major announcement this week regarding name, image and likeness. The organization's Board of Governors voted to support rule changes that allow student athletes to "receive compensation for third-party endorsements both related to and separate from athletics."
It's definitely a step in the right direction. The plan is for this change to go into effect in time for the 2021 college football season.
By that time, Clemson's Trevor Lawrence will be getting his NFL career underway. Lawrence is the projected No. 1 pick in next year's draft, and he's expected to forgo his senior season of college football in order for that to happen.
Hypothetically though, if the rule changes were put in place in time to help Lawrence, how much could he make off his social media presence alone. It is a question that Yahoo's Pete Thamel asked Blake Lawrence, the CEO and Founder of Opendorse, an athlete marketing platform.
By Blake Lawrence's calculations, Trevor Lawrence could make "more than half a million" dollars off his social media presence this season.
Trevor Lawrence has nearly 500,000 Instagram followers and 81,000 Twitter followers. Blake Lawrence came up with the monetary answer by calculating the engagement rate on each feed. For an Instagram post, Trevor Lawrence could make $16,000. For a Twitter post, it would be about $1,100 per post. He estimated 12 interested local businesses and 50 total posts.
(Blake Lawrence based these numbers off established metrics and payout from NFL players with similar social media followings. Tua Tagovailoa, for example, gets paid about the same now that he’s in the NFL.) Blake Lawrence said that amount could be even more if Lawrence had a YouTube channel.
Half a million dollars is nothing to laugh at. It's clear that college athletes of Lawrence's caliber and stature stand to profit greatly from these proposed rule changes.
It's about time too. Enabling a student-athlete to profit off name, image and likeness is an advancement that is long overdue.