My NIL Story – Savannah Schoenherr
How Athletes Can Use AO to Prevent Fraud
With NIL being introduced in 2021 and the conversation of revenue sharing with college athletes gaining momentum on a daily basis – the stories of college athletes being taken advantage of by fraudulent actors, brands, collectives, agents and advisors have increased in volume. LSU gymnast, Savannah Schoenherr, has been brave enough to share her story with Athletes.org in the hopes that her story would be a cautionary tale for other athletes. Frauds, scammers and hackers are becoming more and more savvy, but AO is here to help athletes remain vigilant.
Like most athletes, Savannah was excited about the opportunity to connect with brands and businesses to use her NIL. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as expected. Savannah explained that she was approached by a “company” to do a photoshoot in exchange for compensation. Before completing the shoot, the company sent a check for payment, including a “location fee” that Savannah was supposed to Zelle back to the company. A few days after depositing the check, the check bounced. Luckily, Savannah knew something was wrong and didn’t send the money for the “location fee.” Not only is this frustrating, it’s also scary that athletes can be taken advantage of and nothing has been done about it.
Savannah says once she connected with her agency of choice, Raymond Rep, she felt more comfortable doing NIL deals because these businesses will be vetted by her agency first. “Thankfully I work with an agency that manages all of my deals and helps me avoid similar scams that may come up” said Schoenherr. We acknowledge that each athlete does not have an agent, which is why our free on-demand support can be such a vital tool for all athletes to utilize regardless of whether they have formal representation or not.
How AO Can Help
AO’s resources could have been the solution for a situation like this – via our pro bono legal attorneys and free background checks. For athletes without representation, you have the ability to have contracts looked over for free through one of our legal experts. To access, contact one of our legal advisors within the Expert Network from your AO account.
All members are also able to run free background checks on any person or company that is looking to do business with them. Once you log into your account, select “Background Checks” in the menu and you should receive results in less than 72 hours. Part of being the change is creating it – Athletes.org has created a platform for all athletes to maximize their playing careers and avoid falling into the same traps that previous athletes have unfortunately fallen victim to.
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