Just recently, sports media company Overtime announced a new basketball league where 16-18 year olds could potentially earn over $100k per year (and an additional $100k for college tuition if they don’t play in the NBA). The idea being that if college basketball players aren’t able to make money off their name while others are doing it, there’s an alternative for them to pursue before heading to the NBA.
Even though Overtime Elite hasn’t fully been realized yet, the venture has gained traction with the financial support of many high-profile people. According to CNBC, Overtime’s latest round of funding resulted in them securing $80 million. Notable investors include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (via his personal investment firm and not through Amazon), Drake, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, and pro basketball players Carmelo Anthony, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Chiney Ogwumike, Klay Thompson, and Trae Young.
In total, Overtime revealed that they have raised more than $140 million. Overtime revealed that they will “use a portion of the $80 million to help pay for salaries of players and staff, support league start-up costs, invest in the NFT sector and enhance its app.”
It’s still too early to tell how Overtime Elite will fit in the sports landscape and let’s be honest, the NCAA is way too big and powerful and prestigious that they’ll still be the place most high school athletes go to in order to further their athletic career. That being said, if this helps the NCAA inch toward letting student athletes profit off their name, maybe that’s the point of many of these investors putting their money into trying to make Overtime Elite work.