College basketball coaches — who obsess about on-court rankings — have another score to worry about. But this one concerns activities away from the arena. Nielsen today unveiled the Nielsen Impact Score, or NIS, which is meant to gauge the marketing value of university athletic programs for individual players.
The score is meant to arm universities with data that will help them sell their schools to high school recruits. Athletes are placing new importance on how universities might help them win brand endorsement deals in the wake of new rules that allow them to profit off their name, image and likeness. The relaxed amateurism rules, which are known as NIL (name, image and likeness) and took effect in the summer, have added a new dynamic in the already hotly competitive recruiting battles to lure the nation’s top college football and basketball players.
The new rules have also led to a cottage industry of ranking services that seek to provide brands with a look at which schools and players offer the best potential for endorsement deals. The player rankings, including one from sports betting site The Action Network, have focused on the social media followings of college stars.