By Jennifer Ford
- Drake and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos contributed to Overtime’s $80M Series C funding round
- There’s a 6% chance of high school athletes competing at an NCAA university
Overtime, a sports media start-up for high school sports is big business as the company just raised $80 million in its Series C funding round from Drake, Amazon (AMZN -0.14%) founder Jeff Bezos and others. The five-year-old company is making sure its players aren’t usually left out in the cold when it comes to compensation by providing guaranteed salaries to these young athletes.
Why This Matters: Many high school athletes hope to move on to an NCAA school. However, according to data from the NCAA, fewer than 5% of high school athletes receive a Division I athletic scholarship, and no more than 2% of the 5% will ever play pro sports.Therefore, Overtime is using its latest funding round to develop a new basketball league Overtime Elite (OTE) that will guarantee salaries for its players in the range of $100,000, and add 80 new league employees for its first season in September 2021.
For lower-income athletes, who disproportionately skew as Black, this compensation will allow them to monetize their talents and relieve any economic pressures they may have. Some of those hurdles include the pressure to invest in sports supplies that cost an average Black family $536.92.
Situational Awareness: Overtime’s endeavor is poking the NCAA bear. After a long, arduous uphill battle, the NCAA finally approved athletes´ ability to monetize their name, image and likeness for endorsements and promotions last year. But that is not the same as compensation from the school they play for.
During the 2018-2019 season, The University of Texas, the number one college athletic earner in the country, generated $223.9M. While school programs like this continue to grow their pockets, none are sharing the fruits with its labor – the athletes.
OTE may be the leverage NCAA athletes need to finally be paid for what so many others financially benefit from. And I say, it’s about time!
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