One of the biggest ways that amateur sports have changed over the last year or two has been the NCAA’s recent changes in name, image, and likeness rulings. While colleges still cannot explicitly pay athletes for the revenue they generate, athletes are now able to use the fame that they have achieved at such a young age to make some extra cash. This has trickled down to the high school ranks, where some athletes are able to build gigantic followings on social media and parlay that into getting paid handsomely once they get to college.
An example: Bronny James has been famous for quite some time despite 17 and a high school junior. With more than 6 million Instagram followers and a role with gaming giant FaZe Clan, LeBron James‘ eldest son is already a pretty big deal.
As such, James has, according to Sam Dunn of Boardroom, filed trademark applications in January as he prepares to enter the home stretch of his recruitment.
As noted by attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property, James filed trademarks for “BJ JR,” “BRONNY,” and “BRONALD” with an eye toward entering the worlds of NFTs, video games, and apparel.
James — or, more likely, folks around him — is getting all of his ducks in a row as he’s getting closer and closer to a place where he can capitalize on his celebrity. As for his recruitment, 247Sports has James as its No. 34 recruit and the No. 6 combo guard in its 2023 composite rating, with Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina registering interest.