The Name, Image and Likeness Debate…

By Alexandra Ursino

Background Information

Name, image, and likeness (NIL) are typically seen as the right of publicity, which is a right that provides people with a cause of action against anyone who makes a commercial use of their name, image, likeness, or other indicia of identity.”

In October 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play act into Law the legislation went against NCAA guidelines and allows college athletes in the state to profit from their name, image, and likeness beginning in January 2023. Several other states bean to draft or propose similar legislation in 2019.

At the end of October, the NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously to allow student-athletes to be paid for the use of their NIL once rules are decided on the opportunities. The Board asked each division to create rules between now and January 2021.

According to Sports Illustrated, two companies are at the forefront of this new industry and have already developed business models based on potential NIL benefits.

TWO COMPANIES is a crowdfunding platform that is similar to and allows anyone to donate funds to a specific collegiate athletic program or player position. The people who can donate include college sports fans, alumni, and large companies. The point is that if teams and athletes accept the money when the NIL rules permit it, players will make a video or social media post in exchange for endorsing an advertiser, company, or itself.

The founder of the company, Zachary Segal, says that “the website will “democratize” the college sports economy “and compared the process to making political campaign contributions. “All donations, listed by institution and sports team will be made public on the website.

The website has already taken off. A $10,000 donation has already been made by, which is an auto repair insurance company. The company has donated to 10 Division I football teams for each of their starting quarterback positions, including LSU, Clemson, and Oklahoma. Minnesota State University at Mankato requested its institution be taken off the website due to concerns about how prospective donations could impact the eligibility of players under current NCAA rules for NIL benefits. The founder believes that the university is  “mistaken” because the funds will be held in escrow until regulations and laws are in place that permit college athletes to be paid. A member of Oklahoma’s athletics department stated: “I’ve never seen anything like this” “They aren’t using any of our students’ name, image, and likeness at this time, and why someone would contribute to this is beyond me.” Contributions so far have totaled over $103,000. provides legal representation to athletes. It was started by an Illinois family practice lawyer and former Division 1 men’s basketball player for Saint Louis University. The company is designed to help athletes navigate sponsorship deals and provide other opportunities to profit from their NIL, such as fan autograph exchanges and social media advertising.

The website states that its clients will be given full access to newly available opportunities to monetize their publicity and elevate their status as the admired, elite athletes that they are.

Questions to consider:

  • Companies aren’t yet sure about what the state and federal law swill look like, as well as what NCAA guidelines will be. Without this guidance, is it smart to create a business model without any regulatory guidance?
    • Can you bet on potential profits that way?
  • Would you start a business without knowing the regulatory guidelines or issues?
  • What would be the biggest assumptions you make about this new industry?
    • Are there any major assumptions these two companies are making?
  • How would you compare the two businesses?



Working from Home and Beyond

Working Remotely

Perhaps one of the largest new trends in the modern workplace is the ability to work remotely. While work from home (“WFH”) options have been around for quite some time, there is a new trend emerging which promotes “working from anywhere” (“WFA”). Advances in technology and streamlined services have allowed for increased flexibility in the way people work, both inside and outside of the office. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 43% of employed Americans spend at least some time working remotely every week. While the concept of working remotely is not necessarily new, it has gained quite a bit of traction as employers have begun capitalizing on its benefits. In fact, several recent studies suggest that the ability to work remotely increases productivity. Additionally, WFA and WFH programs might reduce some structural overhead costs. On the employee side, the uptick in remote working options is said to be driven by the increase of Millennial and Gen-Z workforce and changes in the labor culture. Now, WFA and WFH programs are used as a recruiting tactic. As with any major shift in the workplace, there are many benefits and drawbacks that present unique challenges to different employers in different industries.

Harvard Business Review Study: WFO v. WFA

While WFA has grown out of WFH programs, there are some differences in the benefits and challenges presented with a workforce that is located “anywhere”. Harvard Business Review conducted a study in which they studied the effects of a WFA program initiated in 2012. The study followed patent examiners at the USPTO. The focus of the study was to analyze the productivity of these examiners after the switch from WFH options to WFA. The results of this study showed a 4.4% increase in productivity after the switch. Additionally, there was no significant increase in the amount of work revision that needed to take place after the switch. Moreover, there was no indication that the patent quality decreased after the switch. Harvard Business Review estimated that the 4.4% increase in productivity represents up to $1.3 billion in added value to the U.S. Economy. As a fringe benefit of the WFA implementation, the study also observed that there was an uptick among WFA employees relocating to places with lower cost of living. When the WFA employees relocated while retaining their original salary, they effectively gave themselves a raise without any economic impact on their employer.

Companies Capitalizing on WFH and WFA

An interesting feature of this trend is the technology supporting WFA and WFH options. Companies such as Slack and Zoom have streamlined remote communication. Both of these companies have been hugely successful featuring multibillion-dollar IPOs. In addition to streamline communication and remote connection, other companies such as WeWork and Regus have capitalized on creating flexible workspace that can be used to support an alternative  workplace configuration.

Benefits of WFH/WFA Option:

  • Flexibility
  • Continuous Access to Work Materials
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Increased Productivity
  • Health
  • Reduced Absenteeism
  • Greater Retention of Talent
  • Recruitment
  • Workplace Content
  • Greater Autonomy

Challenges of WFH/WFA Option:

  • Organization
  • Collaboration
  • Miscommunication
  • Reduced Oversight
  • Less Sense of Community
  • Continuous Access to Work Materials


  1. How can Entrepreneurs capitalize on the WFA movement?
  2. What challenges does the WFA movement present for Entrepreneurs?
  3. How are law firms reacting to the WFA movement?
  4. Is WFA good for everyone? If not, why not?