A company called Dreamfield has recruited two college stars as equity partners.
Florida State University quarterback McKenzie Milton and University of Miami quarterback D’Eriq King are both taking equity stakes in a new company aimed at helping college athletes make money off their name, image and likeness.
Milton and King each lead one of the top college football teams in the state. They announced they’ll help lead Florida’s new era of allowing college athletes to generate income after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed relevant NIL legislation. After movement from Florida and several other states, the NCAA Wednesday also backed off its rules blocking college athletes from making money via promotional efforts.
Milton and King will buy into a company called Dreamfield, which serves as a platform to help athletes book paid public events. Milton announced the move alongside Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in Tallahassee on Thursday, while King announced his decision in Miami.
Dreamfield will provide a portal displaying available events such as autograph sessions or speaking gigs. Athletes can then search those listings, sign up to attend those events and get paid in the process.
The venture is just one of several ways athletes can begin cashing in off the field after Florida lawmakers approved legislation permitting the practice last Session. Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca sponsored that bill, with a start date originally set for July 1, 2021. During this year’s Session, Republicans tried pushing the effective date back to July 1, 2022. But after outcry from major college athletes — including Milton — lawmakers relented and added an amendment to a separate bill reinstating the July 2021 start date. DeSantis signed that so-called “glitch bill” on June 24.
Corey Staniscia, who served as a top staffer for LaMarca and helped push forward the NIL pay bill, also tells Florida Politics he’ll be leaving LaMarca’s office to join Dreamfield as its director of external affairs. He’ll also serve as President of Dreamfield Foundation, which will plans to form as a 501(c)(3).
Staniscia has worked in Rep. LaMarca’s office since LaMarca won the House District 93 seat in 2018. He also served as LaMarca’s campaign manager in both 2018 and 2020.
College athletes are currently considered amateurs under NCAA rules. While many receive a scholarship to attend their respective universities, the NCAA has been incredibly restrictive regarding rules on making money outside sports. In 2017, a kicker from the University of Central Florida was declared ineligible for making money off his YouTube channel. Athletes have also been punished for making money from autographs.
That prompted Florida and other states to approve measures giving athletes the ability to make money off the field as a way to force the NCAA’s hand. Nearly 20 states have approved similar laws including California, Georgia, Texas and others. Reports emerged just last week that Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear would join that push via an executive order.
Florida’s bill will allow athletes to generate revenue off NIL rights, such as through advertisements, signing autographs and other forms of promotion. Dreamfield is one of many services that will help athletes take advantage of those new opportunities.
Florida and other states’ push has forced the NCAA to begin amending its ban on athletes making money off NIL rights. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling also chipped away at the NCAA’s power to limit benefits to athletes that are educational in nature. Some analysts have speculated that case could foreshadow an end to the NCAA’s amateur rules altogether.
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