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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The name, image and likeness conversation has spent years focusing on a hypothetical future, but with at least five states' NIL legislation set to go live on July 1, that future is finally here.

Why it matters: When you spend so much time focusing on the "when," it's easy to forget the importance of the "how" — money won't magically find its way into athletes' pockets three weeks from now.

Driving the news: Two partnerships were recently announced that will greatly benefit any NCAA student-athlete hoping to profit off their NIL.

  • Twitter and Opendorse — a sports content publisher that helps connect brands with athletes — have partnered in a "revenue-sharing venture to allow college athletes to monetize their content," SI reports (subscription).
  • INFLCR and OpenSponsorship — the former a software company that helps student-athletes publish and track social content, the latter a digital endorsement deals marketplace — have partnered to give athletes and brands a one-stop shop to manage content partnerships, per Sportico.

Details: The partnerships provide similar utility, but not identical; more cousins than siblings.

  • Twitter already runs thousands of ad-supported video campaigns from brands who pay Twitter to distribute their content. Through this partnership, brands can find student-athletes on Opendorse to create that content for them, and their spend (say, $100,000) will be shared among Twitter, Opendorse and the athletes.
  • OpenSponsorship is an existing marketplace that pairs brands with pro athletes, but INFLCR will bring student-athletes into that equation. Athletes can open their INFLCR app, find brands via OpenSponsorship that might be interested in working with them, and make a deal.
"Student athletes have been marginalized. We want them to see the benefits of their NIL. The real winners are the student-athletes."
— David Herman, Twitter's senior sports partner manager

Between the lines: The most critical component to all of this is compliance, and that's where INFLCR and Opendorse's roles are most similar.

  • The NCAA is more than a little nervous about NIL turning into pay-for-play, which is why strict rules are in place governing these athlete-brand partnerships.
  • Both Opendorse and INFLCR will automatically send reports of any deals brokered to the athlete's school, giving the school and athlete peace of mind that they won't get caught up in a compliance nightmare down the road.

Go deeper: What NIL deals in the NAIA can tell us about the market (Forbes)

Go deeper

Tokyo Paralympics kick off amid COVID state of emergency

Three torchbearers wave after lighting the cauldron during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 24, 2021. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

The Tokyo Paralympics officially began on Tuesday as athletes representing 162 countries and a delegation of refugees processed in the parade of nations before the cauldron was lit.

Driving the news: The opening ceremony for the 16th Summer Paralympics took place in a spectator-less stadium and featured a smaller number of athletes compared to years prior as COVID-19 restrictions prohibit athletes from entering the Paralympic Village until five days before their competitions, per the New York Times.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly Priest Johnson e in the t figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

GOP to use Supreme Court fight to target vulnerable Dems

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Conservatives know they're unlikely to stop President Biden from filling a Supreme Court vacancy, but they plan to target Senate Democrats who face competitive re-election fights and are all but certain to vote for the successor to Justice Stephen Breyer.

Between the lines: The general strategy will be to tie those Democrats to positions seen as political liabilities in states like Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire, where incumbents are seeking re-election this year, an operative briefed on early strategy talks told Axios.