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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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College Athletes Cash In

  • Athletes and brands were ready to jump into an industry that some estimate could be worth $1 billion.
  • When the clock struck midnight on July 1, they wasted little time signing deals and launching businesses.
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

The NCAA was dragged to the table, against its will, to let college athletes profit off their names, images, and likenesses — but a new day has finally arrived.

The NIL era officially began when the clock struck midnight on July 1. Throughout the entire day, athletes and brands wholeheartedly jumped into an industry that some estimate could be worth $1 billion.

  • Florida State QB McKenzie Milton and Miami QB D’Eriq King signed on as co-founders of NIL marketplace Dreamfield.
  • Twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder, Fresno State basketball players, inked deals with Six Star Nutrition and Boost Mobile.
  • Arkansas WR Trey Knox inked the first-ever college partnership with PetSmart.
  • Iowa basketball player Jordan Bohannon signed with a fireworks store and Nebraska volleyball player Lexi Sun is launching a clothing line.

Unilever will commit $5 million to promoting Degree deodorant through partnerships with college athletes over the next five years.

GoPuff offered every college athlete a sponsorship deal, and hundreds have already taken up the company’s offer.

Opendorse facilitated at least 1,000 deals in its first 24 hours, while the NFLPA confirmed its agents can work with college athletes, according to a letter obtained by NFL Network.

It’s only the beginning, but NCAA sports will never be the same again. 

“We’re just extremely excited,” Dreamfield co-founder Luis Pardillo told Front Office Sports.

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