As the NIL rules come into effect, these NCAA athletes quickly took advantage of the name, image, and likeness.
Thursday marked the start of a new era in varsity sport as rules allowing athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness took effect across the country. Immediately, the effects of the new rules could be seen across the country as athletes from several sports – not just soccer and basketball – began announcing partnerships with companies.
Among the two most common moves announced by varsity athletes on Thursday were partnerships with the Yoke video game platform, which allows gamers to play with athletes. Dozens of college football players have announced their entry to the platform with social media posts. Another popular starting point for many top athletes was Cameo’s platform, which allows fans to pay athletes and celebrities to record personalized video messages.
Texan running back Bijan Robinson was among the big names who debuted on Cameo as he posted on the platform announcing that his Cameo page was open for $ 100 per video. Custom videos and video game opportunities were only the start on Thursday, however, of what has turned out to be one of the most monumental days in college sports history away from the actual playing field.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights as athletes begin to cash in their NIL fees.
McKenzie Milton and D’Eriq King
A few well-known quarterbacks in the Sunshine State aren’t just there for themselves. The duo were quick to announce the launch of a platform called Dreamfield that will help, among other things, connect varsity athletes to public appearance opportunities. Florida State QB Milton and Miami QB King also signed their own deals with a moving company.
Fresno State basketball players Haley and Hanna Caviinder have racked up millions of followers on TikTok, and now the twins can capitalize on their social media prowess. The duo have struck a deal with wireless operator Boost Mobile that illustrates the possibilities for athletes who don’t regularly play in the national spotlight. They also posted an endorsement for a nutrition company on Instagram with a token dollar for the new day in varsity sport.
LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne has over a million Instagram followers and is often cited as one of the varsity athletes poised to benefit the most from rule changes. She did not disclose a partnership on Thursday, but did tease what may be to come. “Dreams come true… big things are happening,” Dunne wrote on Instagram under a post showing her highlights on a Times Square video board.
Trey Knox (and blue)
Arkansas wide receiver Trey Knox has partnered with a nationally known retailer, but he has to thank his four-legged friend for the deal. Knox and his Husky, Blue, will launch a social media campaign with PetSmart, the company said. Blue looks genuinely excited about all of the free treats that will be on offer to her.
“I’ve always been proud to be an Arkansas student-athlete and football player, but just as proud to be a dog sire to Blue,” Knox said. “It was absolutely fitting to work alongside PetSmart in this revolutionary opportunity to show my love for Blue and how PetSmart meets all of its needs. “
Nix is entering his third season as Auburn’s starting quarterback with 94,000 Instagram followers, and his most recent post shows how his visibility is helping him take advantage of the new NIL rules. The former five-star prospect shared a photo of himself with a bottle of Milo’s sweet tea as well as a promotional message.
North Carolina varsity quarterback Sam Howell replied, “I’m wasting no time 😂😂😂”, in an apparent nod to how quickly Nix has capitalized on the new rules.
Iowa goalie Jordan Bohannon has been one of college basketball’s toughest advocates for NIL opportunities and the rising sixth year wasted no time cashing in on the new rules. In addition to its partnership with an Iowa fireworks store, Bohannon has also launched a line of t-shirts.
“So happy for every athlete across the country,” Bohannon wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
The Oklahoma star quarterback and 2021 Heisman favorite entering the season unveiled a unique logo with his initials and pledged to use some of his NIL earnings for the greater good in an Instagram ad late Wednesday evening.
“As players we have to use our platform and this new NIL opportunity to do good in the world,” Rattler wrote. “I will donate some of the income I receive to help underserved people and communities. The time is right.”
Lexi Sun, a Nebraska volleyball player with more than 75,000 Twitter followers, announced a partnership with a volleyball apparel company. Sun won’t keep all of the profits to herself, however.
“Because of the lasting impact our sports psychology department has had on my life, I am pledging a portion of the profits to a non-profit sports psychology organization,” Sun wrote. “I hope this will give other athletes the opportunity to learn more about themselves and to be able to grow not only on the field, but also as individuals off the field!”
Myles Brennan and Derek Stingley Jr.
Considering the importance of LSU football to the state of Louisiana, it was no surprise to see a few LSU football stars announce partnerships with restaurants that have their roots in the state. Quarterback Myles Brennan said on Instagram that details will be available soon on his partnerships with Smoothie King and Small’s Sliders. Meanwhile, Tigers junior defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. teased his own deal with Walk-On’s, a growing restaurant chain founded by former LSU basketball players.
The players’ chest
Clothing deals were among the most common in the first day of the NIL era. Athletes from major programs such as Kentucky Basketball’s Dontaie Allen and Clemson Football’s Justyn Ross have announced partnerships with The Players Trunk for personalized merchandise.
Vandagriff is yet to play a game for Georgia, and he will likely be JT Daniels’ replacement this season, but the five-star quarterback in the 2021 class is said to be in a position to earn money already. This year’s class is expected to receive a marketing opportunity from clothing company Onward Reserve, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Thursday..