NIL-style payments arrive in pro sports, salary caps be damned

When the NIL phenomenon first emerged as a way for college players to finally make money, some wondered if boosters of professional teams who didn’t really need it might try to do the same thing. .

This could happen for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. Via Daily sports affairscollecting objects from Las Vegas Review Journal And USA todayThe WNBA is opening an investigation into whether $100,000 sponsorship deals with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for each of the Aces’ 12 players circumvent the salary cap.

LVCVA CEO Steve Hill said they made the deals without the team’s knowledge. Players signed contracts to make appearances on behalf of Las Vegas. They will also receive Las Vegas-centric materials to promote the city.

This still seems like a way to violate the WNBA’s team-by-team salary cap, especially since the six-figure payout exceeds the salaries of half the team’s players.

The larger question is whether something like this could happen in other sports with a salary cap. What’s to stop someone who is both very rich and wants to help their favorite team from funneling a lot of money to key players on a given team? Or to all?

This seems stupid at first glance, but that’s exactly what happens in many college programs. Local bigwigs who want to play the role of bigwigs invest a lot of money to support the program.

Really, how could the NFL stop this from happening? If a guy who owns several car dealerships wants to give a large sum of money to key players in exchange for, say, wearing a baseball cap with the logo on it when arriving at the stadium, that’s free enterprise.

It’s quite surprising that this hasn’t happened yet. The situation with the Aces might give an idea to people who want to tip the odds for their favorite NFL teams.

And with Mark Davis (and Tom Brady) owning the Aces and (whenever Brady is approved) the Raiders, they might be the first to do it.

Free advice, Raiders players? Don’t accept crypto from any of Brady’s friends.

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