CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — Penn State Football’s success in NIL will be determined by the local businesses in Central Pennsylvania. And so far, the relationship between the football program and the Midstate has been strong.

This week, over a dozen businesses were invited to West Shore Country Club to learn how they can benefit from partnering with Penn State football players.

Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) has dramatically changed college athletics. Since 2021, players can make money while in school, and now college football revolves around NIL. The most competitive college football programs boast strong NIL relationships with businesses and donors, and it’s driving high school recruits to those schools.

Head Coach James Franklin often speaks on the need for Penn State Football to remain competitive in this college football landscape, and he did so again to the businesses in attendance on Wednesday.

During the luncheon hosted by Will & Wendy Hoover, businesses also shared the success stories that come with partnering with such a high profile team in Penn State.

In April, Penn State Football’s NIL collective Lions Legacy Club announced a multi-year, seven figure deal with Mechanicsburg based West Shore Homes and MITER Brands.

York-based real estate developer Inch & Co has also partnered with Penn State athletes, including former Central York quarterback Beau Pribula, on different initiatives.

These relationships are brokered through an NIL collective. In Penn State Football’s case, that collective is Lions Legacy Club.

Lions Legacy Club describes itself as “a fan-driven and alumni-led Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) program for Penn State University football student-athletes, alumni, and fans.”

The goal of the collective is to maximize opportunities for football student athletes to build their brand and earn compensation, and give the fans who support this mission exclusive access to the program.

“Our common goal is to create partnerships and make an impact for the betterment of the community,” Lions Legacy Club says on their website.

Penn State football players not only partner with for-profit companies, but can now collaborate with charities through NIL.

In March, Ten Nittany Lion football players partnered with Centre County PAWS to help with a bingo event to raise money for the animal shelter. The afternoon event raised over $8,100.

More about NIL

The NCAA’s changes to NIL policy opened the door for these athletes to pursue different charitable causes in their community in July 2021.

NIL, or Name Image and Likeness, refers to athletes rights over their own brand, and their new ability to make money through endorsements or appearances.

In Pennsylvania, athletes entering into NIL deals cannot endorse, display or promote any of the following products and services:

  • Adult entertainment
  • Alcohol
  • Casinos and gambling, including but not limited to, sports betting, the lottery, and betting in connection with video games.
  • Tobacco and electronic smoking products
  • Opioids and prescription drugs.
  • Controlled dangerous substances
  • Weapons, firearms, and ammunition

The NCAA’s NIL policy allows all D1, D2 and D3 student-athletes to be compensated for their NIL as of July 1, 2021, regardless of whether their state has a NIL law in place or not.