Anna Camden is a star on Penn State women’s basketball team. Just like all college athletes, Camden is able to profit off her name, image and likeness (NIL).
July 1 was the one-year anniversary of NIL being passed. Camden said she’s learned a lot over that time.
Camden hired Limitless NIL, a sports agency owned by Penn State football quarterback Sean Clifford. They help negotiate NIL deals, manage social media presence and give financial guidance to clients.
Adding the business of NIL to a student-athlete’s plate can make for a busy life. In an interview with PlayPennsylvania, Camden takes us through the highs and lows of NIL and why she teamed up with Limitless NIL.
About Limitless NIL
NIL deals not only enable student-athletes to make money, but it can also unlock their entrepreneurial creativity.
Clifford’s company, Limitless NIL, founded in April 2022, is a marketing agency that helps student-athletes create their own brand through education to be able to profit from name, image and likeness. The company slogan is “For the Players.”
Limitless NIL’s services includes talent management, marketing strategies and financial education through Bala Cynwyd-based partner Beacon Pointe. Through Beacon Pointe, student-athletes have access to financial and investment guidance.
The company, which had five employees last month, is up to nine employees. They represent 26 athletes at 12 different schools.
Limitless works with 13 other Penn State athletes, including Camden.
Anna Camden on NIL
A big misconception about NIL is that student-athletes would initially be able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. While it could be true for some, for others it isn’t.
Camden tempered her expectations a bit when NIL passed.
“I tried to keep my expectations down and not think everything was going to come easy,” Camden said. “I think some people might have thought when the law passed they’d be making thousands of dollars. It doesn’t really work like that. But I also think I was very hopeful. It gave student-athletes an equal playing field with all the people in the influencing and endorsement space and it was really exciting.”
Why Anna Camden hired Limitless NIL
Before Camden hired Limitless NIL last April, she had a busy life. She had basketball practice, games, workouts and school to manage. When NIL passed, she had to handle the business side of sports.
She had managed that side since NIL passed in July until April, when she knew she needed help.
As Camden was looking for an agency, Clifford reached out to her and said he had an opportunity for her. The timing couldn’t have been better.
“I really enjoyed and liked their pitch and how they understood what it was like to be a student-athlete,” she said. “They understood my schedule and how to work with it. I liked how they were right on campus and I could meet with them in person and go see them in the offices. It felt like a family and I’m very relationship-oriented. It just fit into what I needed.”
Camden said her top priorities are school and basketball. Hiring an agency was a result of her representing herself for too long. Limitless NIL makes Camden’s life a bit easier.
“I think I realized this past spring that I could use some help in lifting stuff off my shoulders so I decided to get help with the agency part of it,” she said. “It takes a lot off of me. Now the emails for brand deals don’t get sent to me because I have one of my agents read them. It might sound small but it’s a huge thing. Having to read a billion of those is very time consuming.”
Anna Camden’s ‘authentic’ brand
Since Camden represented herself for a while, she knows what kind of content to post. There’s a good give and take of ideas between Limitless NIL and Camden.
Camden said she’s in a daily group chat with Limitless NIL employees and stops in the offices at least once a week for updates and ideas. Limitless NIL also conducts monthly Zoom calls with Camden and other clients during summer vacation.
Whether she’s posting on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok, Camden would consider her brand as “authentic.”
“I’m never going to endorse or promote a product that I don’t actually like or a food I don’t actually eat,” she said. “Just stuff as small as that and stuff as big as showing the good, the bad and ugly of what being a 21-year-old female looks like. Whether that’s posting good skin days or bad skin days, posting when I’m super happy and loving my sport and posting when basketball gets a little tough and I might need a little break. I think showcasing that no one has it together all the time is a really big part of that.”
Camden has gotten great feedback for being her authentic self. A Penn State student wrote an open letter to Camden, detailing how Camden’s vulnerable and authentic posts have helped the student with her own thoughts, dreams and careers.
“That has always been motivational for me to get that positive feedback and to know that I’m inspiring and making someone else feel better about themselves throughout a given point or time.”
Biggest takeaways from NIL
NIL has opened the eyes of many athletes, especially Camden, to the business side of things.
Camden has learned skills she otherwise would not have learned throughout the NIL process. Camden said her dad helped a ton before she hired Limitless NIL.
“Honestly, the knowledge I’ve gained in the business world through NIL is probably my favorite and most unexpected part of the process. Learning how to write invoices, do my taxes, read contracts, do negotiations and respond to emails in a respectful and professional manner has been extremely beneficial. I had no idea what an invoice was. Learning a lot of that has been really cool.”
The 6′ 3″ Forward from Downington, PA is set to kick off her Senior season on Nov. 9 at home vs. Norfolk State.
Lead image Mark Selders/Penn State Athletics