There may not be a better example of an athlete capitalizing on an opportunity than Jared Casey. The walk-on freshman fullback for the Kansas Jayhawks, who scored the game-winning two-point conversation against Texas this year, didn’t know if he would ever see the day that NIL deals were dropping in his lap.
That quickly changed on Saturday, November 13th. When the Jayhawks arrived back in Lawrence, Kansas early Sunday morning, Jared Casey was ready to catch up on rest. His phone was blowing up while he slept. As you can imagine, he was the hero on campus.
However, he tried to stay on his normal routine. In this new era of college athletics, that is difficult. He quickly went to a meeting with Sixth Man Strategies, who is his marketing representative, and the deals had already started coming in. From Applebee’s and eventually, Lewis Automotive Group, which gave Casey a brand new car, the direct NIL results from “the play” have been nothing short of incredible.
The ability for athletes to take advantage of a moment is something that is far too often missed. Whether it’s monetarily, or in a way to elevate your personal brand, there are always ways to use a moment that you have either created or played a role in, to benefit you. Jared Casey has done exactly that and more. He has been smart and calculated on who and what to associate his brand with, and knows that with more success and hard work, more opportunities will be available.
It is so important to create a NIL journey that is unique to you and your brand. Not every athlete is going to have the same opportunities, nor do they have the same likings and desires. Create a plan that aligns with who you are. From your hometown to the college town you reside, to the places you eat and shop at, there is an endless ability to work with people and businesses that increase your value off of the court or field you play on.