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Governor of Arkansas Signs Name, Image, and Likeness Bill into Lawed

The governor of Arkansas signed House Bill 1671 (i.e., the Arkansas Student-Athlete Publicity Rights Acts) into law permitting student-athletes enrolled in a colleges and universities in Arkansas to be paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses, to hire representatives to represent student-athletes’ interests, and declaring that a student-athlete may not be compelled to forfeit his/her rights in order to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Arkansas becomes the ninth state to enact legislation that permits student-athletes to accept compensation for their names, images, and likenesses (following California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Alabama). The law goes into effect on January 1, 2022.


In most respects, the Arkansas act is similar to predecessor acts enacted in California, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Alabama. In pertinent part, the act provides a student-athlete may:

  • A student-athlete may enter into a contract and receive compensation for the commercial use of the student-athlete’s publicity rights; and

  • Earning compensation for the commercial use of a student-athlete’s publicity rights shall not affect the student-athlete’s scholarship eligibility.


The Act further provides, in pertinent part, that colleges and universities and governing bodies may not:

  • Prevent a student-athlete from receiving compensation for the commercial use of the student-athlete’s publicity rights;

  • Penalize a student-athlete for receiving compensation for the commercial use of the student-athlete’s publicity rights; and

  • Prevent an institution of higher education from participating in varsity intercollegiate athletics, or otherwise penalize an institution of higher education, as a result of a student-athlete’s receipt of compensation.

In turn, student-athletes are required to or prohibited from doing the using their names, images, and likenesses in the following circumstances:

  • Adult entertainment, sexually suggestive products, or sex- oriented products, services, conduct, imagery, or inferences;

  • Alcohol products;

  • A casino and gambling, including without limitation sports betting and betting in connection with a video game or online game, or on a mobile device;

  • Tobacco, marijuana, or electronic smoking products and devices;

  • Pharmaceuticals;

  • Any dangerous or controlled substance;

  • Drug paraphernalia;

  • Weapons, including without limitation firearms and ammunition; or

  • Any product, substance, or method that is prohibited in competition by an athletic association, athletic conference, or other organization governing varsity intercollegiate athletic competition.


The Act requires that any agent, athlete agent, financial advisor, or attorney who is providing professional services to the student-athlete must be licensed in Arkansas. Student-athletes must disclose any contract entered into by the student-athlete to his/her college or university. Additionally, a professional representative of a student-athlete must disclose his/her involvement with a student-athlete to the student-athlete’s college or university in accordance with the time period set by the college or university.


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