University of Connecticut Storrs campus (Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie)

Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law a bill that permits student-athletes in Connecticut to use their school’s names, logos, trademarks, mascots, unique colors, copyrights, and other defining insignia in endorsement contracts.

The law updates one the governor signed last year that permitted student-athletes to receive money from the use of their name, image, and likeness – commonly known as NIL. That law, however, prohibited student-athletes from using their school’s logos and other insignia as part of these deals, which many argued was prohibitive in their efforts to obtain endorsements.

UConn executive associate athletic director Neal Eskin testified that the current law, which also prohibits athletes from using the UConn logo, mascot or other institutional marks, puts the Huskies at a recruiting disadvantage.

“None of us want to inhibit the ability of our outstanding coaches to recruit talented student-athletes to UConn,” he said in March. “In order to compete at the highest level, we must make certain that student-athletes who choose to enroll in college in Connecticut have the same opportunities as those at schools in other states.”

In November 2021, Paige Bueckers, the UConn Husky women’s basketball star, signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Gatorade, becoming the company’s first NCAA partner.

Bueckers has also partnered with mobile payment service Cash App and online marketplace StockX. The Wall Street Journal reported she could make an estimated $1 million a year in endorsements between the two companies. 

The request to change the law was requested by the University of Connecticut, which argued that it would align Connecticut’s policies with other states and help them recruit students. Prior to the passage of this updated law, Connecticut was one of only two states that blocked student-athletes from using their schools’ logos.

“Updating this law brings our policies in line with those enacted in the rest of the country, ensuring that student-athletes who choose to attend schools in Connecticut have the same benefit as their contemporaries in other states,” Lamont said. “None of us want to inhibit the ability of our outstanding coaches to recruit talented student-athletes to Connecticut. We appreciate our athletes and our schools, and I am pleased to sign this into law.”