The NIL space has been a hotbed for innovation as student-athletes and entrepreneurs alike have jumped at the chance to make a name for themselves in the industry.
Jacob Piasecki and Stefan Aguilera, have been leading players in the space, having signed a collection of student-athletes to their firm A&P Agency.
RELATED: Opendorse partners with Keller Williams, NIL Real Estate to provide real estate education, career opportunities for student-athletes
Now, they have introduced a new way for people to get their foot in the door in NIL.
Creating the first-ever online NIL agent course, University NIL, Piasecki and Aguilera are offering a full name, image and likeness curriculum to become certified under A&P Agency as a NIL agent. The course requires no prior experience and is available to anyone who is interested in entering the NIL industry.
“It’s really all the knowledge, tips and strategies that we used to solidify ourselves in this space. It talks about how to go about with a signing event, how to represent student-athletes and the steps involved in that,” Piasecki told The NIL Deal.
“It also includes social media deals and how to create a product package and present the product package timeline. It incorporates how to create your own agency, athlete-management and all about the rules and regulations that currently represent the space.”
RELATED: Meet Ray Erario, the 21-year-old sports agent focused on building his brand in NIL era
The course costs $99.99 for the first 100 who sign up and $299.99 for anyone who signs up after that. Offered completely online, it includes seven sections that cover the various industry aspects of name, image and likeness. After completing all required videos and section reviews, the course is capped off with a final exam where students will need to score 70% or better to earn a course completion certificate.
The even bigger catch: A&P Agency will extend a guaranteed internship or potential employment at the company for every person who receives certification through their course.
“You get your certificate and then if you want to apply for the potential job we will connect you with our director of partnerships,” said Piasecki. “He maintains the sales team, so he will go in and interview the candidate and really get an understanding of their sales skills and where they’re at. And then we place them in a position according to that skill set.”
The agency is currently in the process of employing their first graduate.
DeWayne Crawford Jr., who has worked as a high school coach in Georgia for the past 10 years, recently met with the director of partnership to discuss his future employment at A&P Agency after receiving his University NIL certificate.
RELATED: Leah Clapper launches NIL Island, says ‘community’ is missing piece of NIL landscape
Crawford Jr. believes that the course has prepared him to enter the NIL space at a time when the industry is young and becoming a growing force in sports.
“I think it’s 100% prepared me. The information between the presentations and listening to how the course teaches NIL was very direct, open and honest,” said Crawford Jr.
Crawford Jr. believes the course is the best way for anyone interested in working in NIL to get started and that it provides a blueprint for how to build yourself into a successful agent.
“I felt like I understood what exactly I needed to do, to be able to be successful with this and help athletes get their name out and brand themselves and make money,” he said.
For those who decide to forge their own path in the NIL industry, A&P Agency is willing to offer guidance to course graduates trying to kickstart their own careers.
“We are also helping people start their own agency. We’re trying to assist them because we know the hard part of starting your own agency and finding athletes without prior credibility,” said Piasecki. “We’re trying to help them get people on their team because at the end of the day we can’t sign everybody and we’re not really focused on certain sports. So it’s advantageous for everybody in this space to have competition.”
RELATED: The Players NIL founder Mark Koesterer declares NIL is for all through recent publication
Starting in the NIL space almost immediately after its legalization in July 2021, Piasecki and Aguilera believe their model of teaching and spreading the word about NIL will be mutually beneficial for the industry and their company.
“There is so much opportunity that’s in front of you if you enter NIL,” said Aguilera. “It is a new space and there’s a lot of opportunity with so many student-athletes not having deals and a cycle of new student-athletes coming in. We believe this course is definitely going to move the industry forward in a good way.”