- A new Venmo-like app called MyNILPay allows fans to send direct payments to college athletes.
- CEO Brent Chapman told Insider that his app is NCAA compliant thanks to the “quid pro quo” fans receive.
- Basketball legend Nancy Lieberman said the app helps foster “a level playing field with male athletes.”
College athletes have been paid thanks to the changing landscape of Name, image and likeness and the brand endorsements that have followed.
Now a new Venmo-like app lets fans get in on the NIL action.
MyNILpay allows college sports enthusiasts to send direct payments to their favorite NCAA athletes, from March Madness stars like Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark to the little-known distance runner at a Division III school.
“It’s like Venmo for student athletes,” myNILpay CEO Brent Chapman told Insider. “People say to me, ‘Why don’t you just use Venmo?’ Because they can’t. Because it’s illegal to send them money.”
NCAA rules require college athletes to offer a product or service in exchange for receiving money of any kind. In the case of myNILpay, fans receive “a digital artwork featuring the athlete’s name and digital signature” after submitting a payment.
“That’s the quid pro quo,” Chapman said. “It’s no different than a signed basketball, soccer, or volleyball, right?”
All NCAA athletes with an email address ending in “.edu” are automatically eligible to receive payments through myNILpay. While it’s obvious that it makes money for the big-name quarterback completing an impressive touchdown pass or the star guard hitting a buzzer, Chapman said it can have an even bigger impact for student-athletes than big brands and players. are more often overlooked. School NIL collectives, which pool funds to allocate NIL opportunities within a given athletic department.
“This was not built for Bryce Young and Archie Manning,” Chapman said. “This was built for D-II, D-III, lower ID, the swim team, the soccer team, the Olympic sports.”
Chapman said fans of his alma mater’s football team, for example, previously had no way to legally contribute to that team specifically. If they were to make a donation to the athletic department, that money could very well go towards income sports.
But with myNILpay, fans can pay for the whole team, the star midfielder or the third row goalkeeper. Those same athletes can go to their hometowns to raise money in their own name.
While it’s true they won’t earn the millions of dollars that are awarded to NIL’s top moneymakers, the aforementioned athletes could earn enough money to change their college experience substantially.
MyNILpay would have made a world of difference to even the biggest college sports stars in years past. Basketball legend Nancy Lieberman, who enjoyed such a prolific college career that the annual event award given to the best point guard in the nation Named in her honor, she told Insider she was barely getting by financially when she was a multi-time national champion and All-American at Old Dominion.
“When I got there, I was poor,” said Lieberman, who is on the myNILpay board. “And when I left there, I was poor.”
“I was representing the United States of America,” he added. “I was representing the Olympic team. I was on two Olympic teams. I mean, I didn’t have money to buy a nice pair of shoes or clothes.”
Lieberman said he believes this product could have a particular impact for the college sport womenwho will have the opportunity to level the playing field with their male counterparts by nature of their money going directly into their bank accounts rather than through a third party.
“You have to pass it on,” Lieberman said. “At this stage in my life, my job is to use my platform to help open doors for other people.”