Empowering Athletes: The importance of legal, compliance, and tax considerations

by | Jul 26, 2023 | Education, Sport

ProTouch Africa’s mid-week writing series in association with The Players NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) is designed to empower athletes to take control of their image in a way that will benefit their career. Not only is our team committed to the development of African athletes but we are working closely with The Players NIL to make their course more applicable to the African context.


The ‘Empowering Athletes’ series returns with an in depth look at the third pillar of The Players NIL course; the importance of understanding legal, compliance, and tax considerations.


In recent years, the concept of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) has emerged as a game-changer for athletes, allowing them to monetize their brands and take control of their commercial endeavours. However, with this newfound freedom comes a set of legal, compliance, and tax considerations that athletes need to navigate carefully to ensure they stay within the bounds of the law and protect their interests.


NIL encompasses an athlete’s ability to profit from their name, image, and likeness, presenting various avenues for monetization, including work products like books, YouTube channels, blogs, and promotional activities such as public appearances, social media endorsements, and autograph signings. Athletes can also license their name, image, or likeness for merchandise and offer lessons or camps, leveraging their talents and popularity to generate income.


African athletes must understand NIL’s rules and regulations to grasp its implications fully. While the NCAA, NAIA, and high school athletic associations in the United States have their own guidelines, African athletes should be aware of any specific requirements or policies that may apply to them. Staying informed and checking reliable sources like The Players NIL is crucial to keep up with the ever-evolving landscape of NIL rules and policies.


Before entering any NIL deals, athletes should carefully review agreements as they are legally binding, and penalties may apply for breaching them. Additionally, African athletes need to consider any NIL policies imposed by colleges and universities, which may go beyond the rules and regulations set by these organizations. Ensuring that any NIL deals do not conflict with team or school contracts, disclosing all agreements to the school, and complying with their policies is essential.


As independent contractors participating in NIL activities, African athletes must report their earnings to the nation’s tax collecting authority, which oversees tax matters, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States.


Keeping accurate records of the compensation received from NIL deals, including money and free goods or services, is crucial for fulfilling their tax obligations. Consulting with accountants or tax preparers who understand the tax laws and regulations in both the United States and their home countries can help African athletes navigate these specific tax obligations.


With the advent of NIL, athletes have unprecedented opportunities to capitalize on their brands. However, understanding the legal, compliance, and tax aspects is crucial for success. By familiarizing themselves with NIL rules, seeking up-to-date information, carefully reviewing agreements, and meeting tax obligations, African athletes can navigate the NIL landscape confidently while protecting their interests and ensuring long-term compliance.


Photo Credit: Steven Lelham on Unsplash



PROTOUCH AFRICA is a purpose-driven and for-profit Sports Tech, business founded in 2016 with the purpose to enable African Athletes to perform on the World Stage. It is pioneering new ways for fans to interact and engage with their favourite teams, leagues and athletes and enable alternative revenue streams.


ProTouch Africa’s Podium Pursuit Project is focused on creating a transparent and sustainable funding mechanism for the next generation of African Athletes. Its vision is to launch the World’s first fan-owned impact investment platform for African Athletes, by assembling an ecosystem of top-performing athletes, their fans and the brands that support them.





Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *