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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Wide Open Market

  • All types of brands are interested in partnering with athletes.
  • There’s neither a ceiling nor a floor with how much they’re willing to pay.
Photo: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

From NFTs to apparel shops, certain trends emerged in the types of NIL ventures athletes pursued on July 1. And it’s clear that brand partnerships are only one of many routes athletes can take.

What’s also clear: All types of brands are interested in partnering with athletes. And there’s neither a ceiling nor a floor with how much they’re willing to pay.

Big Checks, Small Checks

Throughout NIL’s inaugural week, athletes who signed NIL deals made anywhere from a few bucks to $2 million on a single endorsement. 

Opendorse, which facilitated more than 1,000 deals on July 1, told Forbes that most of those endorsements were worth between $50 and $500. Their largest deal of the day was $4,000.

While many companies are aiming at partnerships with specific athletes, other companies have dedicated large sums to mass marketing campaigns.

American Top Team, an MMA gym, committed a total of $540,000 to partnerships with University of Miami football players, as CaneSport reported. Each player could sign for $500 a month to promote the brand, earning a total of $6,000 a year.

And Unilever, which owns Degree Deodorant, promised a total of $5 million toward marketing with college athletes.

(Full disclosure: Opendorse is a sponsor of FOS College.)

National and Regional

No matter where you live, you’ve probably heard of some of the brands that have jumped at NIL deals: Gopuff, PetSmart, or Cash App. These represent a select few of the nationally recognized companies participating in NIL deals.

But there are a host of brands that more closely resemble the often-repeated NIL example of the “local car dealership.” 

Regionally based companies, like an Iowa fireworks stand called Boomin Iowa Fireworks and a Missouri pizza parlor called Mellow Mushroom, were eager to gain more notoriety by partnering with local athletes.

It seems like all types of brands have found value in reaching the audiences of NCAA athletes.

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