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Colleges are taking steps to limit the deals student-athletes can make with brands

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Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, right, celebrates with his team after the championship game against Texas Tech in the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament.

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week's edition:

Colleges are blocking students from working with certain brands

How much money Facebook pays for 1 million, 50 million, and 100 million views

The Washington Post is beefing up its TikTok team

How a startup is helping Twitch streamers connect with brand partners

And more, including nominations for the top affiliate-marketing networks and a new influencer ghost kitchen.

Send tips to or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.

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Colleges are taking steps to limit the deals student-athletes can make with brands

Student-athletes are rushing to score brand deals following recent changes to state laws and NCAA rules gave athletes the right to sell their name, image, and likeness.

But, as Dan Whateley wrote, some colleges are nervous that these student promos will interfere with their own lucrative sponsorship contracts.

Administrations are blocking students from working with brands that compete with existing sponsors through policies that limit the deals a student can accept.

Here are a few takeaways:

Ohio State noted that a deal requiring an athlete to wear "products competitive to Nike" could violate its policies. The same goes for beverages competitive to Coca-Cola.

The University of Southern California may bar student-athletes from promoting products or services that compete with Nike, Coca-Cola, Powerade, Muscle Milk, and United Airlines during official team activities.

Failure to comply with the University of Montana's non-compete rule can have real consequences. A student who sets up a deal without permission that conflicts with a university sponsorship agreement could be kicked off their team or lose financial aid.

"I think it will evolve, and I think that it will become more and more of a problem as these big brands create budgets to spend individually with athletes in 2022," said Jim Cavale, CEO at the athlete content-management platform INFLCR.

Read more on how some colleges are limiting student-athlete sponsorships.

Dan Shaba and John Nonny pose together outside of a building.
Dan Shaba and John Nonny run the "The Pun Guys" Facebook page.

How much money Facebook pays for 1 million, 50 million, and 100 million views

Dan Shaba and John Nonny, known as The Pun Guys, are musicians-turned-comedians who run two Facebook pages together.

Their videos have become viral Facebook sensations, with several garnering over 100 million views.

Sydney Bradley broke down how much money they make from Facebook's in-stream ad program:

Their videos, which they upload several times a week to their two accounts, regularly amass at least one million views.

On average, a million views pays about $1,000, but can earns upwards of $1,500, depending on CPM rate.

A video with over 100 million views can earn the pair between $80,000 and $100,000.

To qualify for Facebook's revenue-share program, a page must have 10,000 followers, 600,000 minutes of total watch time in the past 60 days, and at least five active videos.

Here's how Facebook's creator payment program compares with YouTube's.

Dave Jorgenson, who runs the Washington Post's TikTok account, poses in front of a gray background.
Dave Jorgenson runs the Washington Post's TikTok account.

The Washington Post is beefing up its TikTok team and plans to expand into new formats

The Washington Post is growing its TikTok team after building a fan base of 1 million followers.

Dan Whateley wrote that the company is hiring a producer and community manager to engage with users and test new formats.

One focus area for the team is live video, an increasingly important source of engagement on TikTok. They plan on using the feature to have Dave Jorgenson and other team members do deep dives into Post stories and current events.

"We spent a lot of time building up Dave as a trusted communicator on behalf of the Post," said Micah Gelman, director of editorial video at The Washington Post. "We wanted to build that personality, but it was always part of the strategy to move into news coverage in a way that still feels native to the platform."

Read more about The Washington Post's TikTok strategy.

AJ Damiano, Eric Rice and Michael Paris standing outside, smiling with arms around each other's shoulders. AJ is wearing a blue shirt with the Powerspike name and logo on it
Eric Rice (left), AJ Damiano (center), and Michael Paris (right), cofounders of Powerspike.

As Twitch surges, a startup helping streamers earn up to $20,000 an hour from brand deals looks to expand

Livestreaming is booming – concurrent views on Twitch more than doubled from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021 – and Powerspike is a startup that looks to capitalize on that.

The influencer-marketing firm connects gamers on Twitch with brands for sponsored campaigns. The company has 60,000 streamers in its network and paid $2 million to them in the last 12 months.

My colleague Michael Espinosa spoke with CEO AJ Damiano about how Powerspike works and its plans for expansion.

Here are a few key takeaways:

Brands like Bose and Fireball Whisky give Powerspike their budget, the deliverables they want from streamers, and any specific content requirements.

Powerspike then uses analytics to identify which streamers are the best fit for the campaign.

Through a Powerspike deal, a streamer with an average of 10,000 concurrent viewers can earn between $5,000 and $20,000 an hour, the company said.

Here's how branded content on Twitch differs from branded content on YouTube or Instagram .

Vi Lai Skincare influencer
Vi Lai

Seeking nominations for the top affiliate-marketing programs

Sydney Bradley and I are compiling a list of the leading affiliate-marketing platforms for influencers.

We are highlighting the networks that offer high commission rates and access to top brands.

Please submit your ideas or nominations through this form and check out more here.

More influencer industry news:


Ads are one of the best ways for YouTubers to make money, but how much they make, exactly, can be a black box. We spoke with dozens of creators who shared their YouTube earnings.


TikTok star Larray is launching a new delivery-only food brand centered on perennial favorite, mac and cheese. For influencers, creating a restaurant is the newest status symbol.


OnlyFans started to fundraise earlier this summer, but according to sources close to the company, the effort has officially been put on hold.

The platform is also reversing its recent decision to ban porn, saying that it wants to be a "home for all creators."

tiktok hashtag

TikTok hashtag of the week:

Every week, we highlight a top trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.

This week's hashtag: thisorthat

Percentage uptick: 9,980%

The latest viral trend has creators choosing between two options – from spicy vs. plain food to brunettes vs. blondes.

OnlyFans Photo Illustrations
OnlyFans logo displayed on a phone screen and a website in the background are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on April 27, 2021.

Here's what else we're reading and watching:

To recover accounts, some Instagram creators are turning to dealers who say they have backdoor access to the platform (Lauren Strapagiel and Tanya Chen, from BuzzFeed News)

TikTok is testing 5-minute video uploads (Matt Navarra, via Twitter)

Nordstrom is launching an ambassador program for content creators (Tatiana Walk-Morris, from Marketing Drive)

Subscribe to the newsletter here.

And before you go, check out the top trending songs on TikTok this week to add to your playlist. The data was collected by UTA IQ, the research, analytics, and digital strategy division of United Talent Agency.


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