This spring, Colleen Bee, associate professor of marketing, hustled to meet a deadline that was originally slated for 2022 — to prepare Oregon State’s student-athletes for an Oregon law allowing them to profit from their names, images and likenesses (NIL).
Oregon’s SB5 went into effect on July 1, the same day the NCAA reversed decades of policy that prohibited students from profiting from NIL.
Bee, who also serves as Oregon State’s faculty athletics representative, was prepared for the shift in the timing with which Oregon and the NCAA adopted the new rules.
“I had been attending NCAA webinars as well as webinars for faculty athletics representatives to listen and learn about NIL,” Bee said.
She had also been discussing and working with her colleagues in OSU Athletics. In December 2020, OSU Athletics formed an NIL task force that includes Bee, who was able to assist with educational and policy efforts.
As the faculty athletics representative, Bee’s role is to support OSU Athletics’ academic mission while also advocating for student-athletes’ well-being. Her work with OSU Athletics also dovetails with her research, which focuses on consumer behavior, sports marketing, social influence and emotions.
In preparation for the change in NIL laws, OSU Athletics partnered with Opendorse, an online platform that connects students-athletes to sponsorship deals and helps them complete compliance assessments. Steven Jackson, a former OSU running back and NFL veteran, will also provide mentorship to student-athletes.
Bee’s niche in the effort is creating and compiling curriculum for athletes that will bolster their ability to market themselves under SB5 and the new NCAA rules. She, along with Kimya Massey, senior associate athletic director for student-athlete development, have created an optional class student-athletes can take in the fall.
“We have content about what NIL is and some of the dos and don’ts around it as well as starting a business, building a brand, marketing and sales, persuasion, negotiation, contracts, personal and business finance, income tax and insurance liability,” Bee said.
Although Bee cannot predict what the future will look like for student-athletes, she’s confident that OSU can help them navigate it.