Photo by Hannah White, University of Florida Athletic Association.

Navigating name, image and likeness with the help of Warrington

When Megan Skaggs graduated with a degree in advertising and a minor in communication studies, she decided to chase a passion that had always intrigued her – entrepreneurship. The Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program at the Warrington College of Business provided a perfect opportunity for Skaggs to learn more about entrepreneurship while competing with the Florida gymnastics team.

Enrolling in the program also came at a unique time for Skaggs and other college athletes. New rules were recently put into place allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. Learn more about how Skaggs was able to take what she learned in the program and shape her future.

Q: Why did you decide to enroll in the MSE program?

Skaggs: “I felt it could provide practical guidance for my entrepreneurial passions, further than a traditional business degree could.”

Q: What can you tell us about the study you did regarding name, image and likeness?

Skaggs: “My independent study with Dr. Alex Settles was focused on creating a business plan for a mental training curriculum for young gymnasts. The project was centered on the creation of a series of videos and related, interactive worksheets accessible for purchase and digital download through my website. This project stemmed from my interest in staying connected to the gymnastics community and giving back to a generation of younger gymnasts by sharing the lessons I’ve gained through my career. This project did not launch to the outside world, but it did inspire various other projects, one of which was the Tiny Bow Project. I worked on this project with a close friend during the same time as my independent study with Dr. Settles. It did launch on November 24, 2021, and I would say turned out to be an even cooler project than I ever imagined. Though my initial project with Dr. Settles did not launch, I’m traveled to two gymnastics camps in May 2022 to teach the curriculum with over 100 young gymnasts.”

Q: Did you apply any of what you learned to your career as a student athlete?

Skaggs: “The Tiny Bow Project is certainly an example of how I applied my MSE knowledge to my career as a student-athlete. As an athlete in the age of NIL, I’d say the MSE program has better equipped me to take on the challenges of building a personal brand, dialing in on my personal value proposition, and truly selling myself well to the brands I work with.”

Q: How has the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program equipped you to specifically take advantage of name, image and likeness?

Skaggs: “The MSE program equipped me with a spirit of bravery. I learned that other students like me are creating businesses, going after their dreams, and adding value to the world. Surrounding myself with such driven individuals helped me channel a sense of confidence and bravery in my own business passions. You can’t be afraid to pitch your value to a brand or actually start on a project you’re passionate about. To succeed in the NIL space, you have to be brave and bold. You have to know yourself and what sets you apart from every other athlete out there.

“There’s also a side of the MSE program that equipped me with more technical knowledge to succeed in the NIL space, such as operating an LLC and running a business (tracking inventories, shipping product, managing email platforms, etc.).”