Former Clippers legal expert Nicole Duckett creates firm for athletes

Sports Illustrated and Empower Onyx are spotlighting the diverse journeys of Black women in sports—from veteran athletes, to up-and-coming stars, coaches, executives and more—in the series. Elle-evate: 100 Influential Black Women in Sports.

Today’s generation of athletes are no longer just competitors, they are much more—they are businesses, commodities, brands. They are more sophisticated, understanding that there is more to legacy in sports than collecting championship rings, signing big contracts or lucrative sneaker deals.

That’s where Nikki Duckett comes in, navigating the legalese and creatively advising her athlete client base on the kind of decisions that will help them build their legacy off the field. Think of her firm, Nikki Duckett Collective, as a business extension for gamers. “I’m seeing athletes become CEOs of their brands,” says Duckett. “I understood [that] The missing piece to really help these athletes take their careers and brands to the next level is top-notch legal representation.”

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