LSU Athletes Receive $1M as NIL Compensation for Amazon Docuseries

Campfire Film & TV has entered into an agreement with LSU, granting the production company exclusive rights to create “The Money Game,” a documentary series spotlighting the journey of Tiger athletes throughout the 2023-24 academic year with a focus on Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) dynamics. This deal, as Sportico revealed through a document review, promises LSU a payment of $1 million, distinct from the individual negotiation of “talent fees” with athletes, which will be compensated through NIL arrangements. Notably, LSU personnel, including the likes of football head coach Brian Kelly, will not receive any financial benefits from Campfire for their involvement in the series.

“The Money Game,” a joint venture between Axios Entertainment and Shaquille O’Neal’s Jersey Legends, received the green light from Amazon Prime Video recently, featuring O’Neal, an esteemed LSU alumnus. The series aims to chronicle the experiences of highly coveted college athletes during a particularly challenging and suspenseful year in college sports.

LSU Secures $1M as Athletes Receive NIL Compensation for Amazon Documentary SeriesUnder this partnership, Campfire has committed to furnishing contracts to each participating student-athlete, outlining their roles and the compensation they will receive. This initiative represents a pioneering move in the evolving landscape of collegiate athletics, where production deals offer an intimate glimpse into athletes exploiting their publicity rights.

Navigating the complex NCAA regulations on athlete NIL involvement, Campfire’s contract, inked in October 2023, ingeniously details “minimum athlete access requirements.” This includes agreements on athlete participation, facilitating interviews, and ensuring athlete cooperation in promotional activities. The contract allows for extensive filming opportunities, both during practice and in off-campus locations, with provisions for capturing audio by miking athletes.

LSU’s commitment extends to providing access to its coaching staff and administrators for the documentary, without compensating these individuals. The production, scheduled over an approximate 16-week period stretching from July 2023 to June 2024, will include both on-campus and off-campus filming, with LSU having significant input into the content’s final presentation.

Cody Worsham, LSU’s chief brand officer, shared insights with Sportico about the selection process for Campfire, emphasizing the desire for advantageous financial terms, trustworthy partners, and a shared vision for the documentary’s narrative. O’Neal’s involvement brought an additional layer of trust and nostalgia to the partnership, highlighting NIL’s deep-rooted significance to LSU’s ethos.

While there were initial considerations for a separate series focusing on LSU’s women’s basketball team, the decision was made to integrate this aspect into “The Money Game.” However, the agreement leaves room for potential future projects, including a Jersey Legends-produced series dedicated to the women’s basketball team, should LSU decide to pursue this avenue.

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