Through the years, NCAA champion head coach Dawn Staley has advocated for elevated investment in women’s college basketball. Less than a year after she led her team to a national championship, the South Carolina community has heard her.
A name, image, and likeness collective at South Carolina called Garnet Trust has organized an NIL program which aims to help every women’s basketball player earn an average of $25,000 this season.
“This is a great thing for our program, and I appreciate the work that went into creating this new pathway for our players to have some assurances that they will have NIL deals coming this season,” Staley said in a statement.
The collective offers fans subscriptions for athlete content and events, and helps connect local businesses with athletes. Attorney and former politician Bakari Sellers helped organize and donate to the collective.
The collective will organize multiple types of NIL activities for players, from social media posts to in-person events. The group will also work with NOCAP to find outside brand partnerships. One company, Slate Milk, has already agreed to take part in the program, providing deals to the team.
Prior to this deal, several players have previously capitalized on their own. Women’s Player of the Year Aliyah Boston, for example, has inked multiple partnerships with major brands from Under Armour to Orangetheory. Her former teammate and current Indiana Fever guard Destanni Henderson, created her own clothing line.
But heading into a post-championship season, the collective believes players will have a particular “spotlight” which they can capitalize on.
“NIL has created an awesome opportunity for these athletes to earn what they have always deserved, and we are excited to continue to support this team for years to come,” Sellers said in a statement.