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Hunter Dickinson, other KU stars launch NIL deal with vintage T-shirt company Charlie Hustle

Jeremy Crabtreeby:Jeremy Crabtree10/25/23


With a preseason No. 1 ranking and forward Hunter Dickinson being named a first-team All-American, Kansas Jayhawk fans can’t wait for the season to tipoff. So, it only makes sense that top KU players are using their names, images and likenesses to take advantage of the preseason hype.

KU stars Kevin McCullar, K.J. Adams, Elmarko Jackson and Dickinson announced new deals Wednesday with Charlie Hustle.

The Kansas City-based vintage clothing company has been a big player in the NIL space with athletes across the country. Charlie Hustle has signed 36 student-athletes to agreements.

All of them have custom-designed gear like Mizzou star receiver Luther Burden’s “Flex Luther” shirt released last week. The company recently expanded its reach into Texas and with athletes in the SEC and Big Ten.

The launch with multiple key players from the Jayhawks is another example of Charlie Hustle’s dedication to supporting student-athletes. It’s also no surprise Charlie Hustle’s went back to KU stars for its latest agreement.

“We worked with our legal team to stay up to date on the NIL landscape leading up to the rulings a couple of years ago,” Charlie Hustle chief operating officer Greg Moore told On3. “That gave us the ability to act fast, which led to first-to-market deals and fun designs with KU’s Ochai Agbaji and Mitch Lightfoot. We’ve continued those Jayhawks relationships and we’re excited about our partnerships with Hunter, Elmarko, Kevin and KJ.

“Jayhawk fans always support their student-athletes and, with hope, fans will love our playful and unique designs for these basketball stars.”

Big expectations for Kansas

Kansas brought in transfer Hunter Dickinson, arguably the biggest get in the portal this offseason. The former Michigan man has one thing on his mind, a national title.

The Jayhawks have a returning trio of Dajuan Harris, McCullar and Adams. This is going to be quite a fun team to watch all year, On3’s Jamie Shaw said.

“Kansas has one of the most talented starting fives in the country,” Shaw recently wrote. “Harris is the consummate point guard, able to guard the ball and touch the paint. He is the straw that stirs the drink. McCullar and Adams are explosive forwards who should each contend for All-Big 12 Defensive honors.

“Dickinson has been one of the most dominant paint presences in college basketball over the past three seasons. He has averaged 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds in his career.”

Hunter Dickinson making big impact in NIL

(Courtesy of Charlie Hustle)

Dickinson didn’t shy away from talking about the impact NIL played in his decision not to declare for the NBA draft and transfer to Kansas. In fact, days before he committed to Kansas, Maryland reportedly made a $2 million offer because it got “energized, motivated and pissed off.”

“Ever since my freshman year, I knew if I entered the draft, I would get at least drafted,” Dickinson said. “But with NIL now, I think it’s just so much smarter to come back and really improve your stock as much as you can until you’re fully ready to go.”

Since arriving in Lawrence, Dickinson has been involved in a number of NIL deals. This summer, Dickinson appeared on the hood of JD Motorsports driver Brennan Poole’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race car through an NIL partnership with BeONE Sports. Then in September, he joined adidas’ NIL ambassador network.

An agent facilitated Dickinson’s deal with Charlie Hustle. The “B1G” Dickinson design from Charlie Hustle is a not-so-subtle call back to its “Big Energy” shirt that went viral last season with Gradey Dick. Dickinson is also wearing No. 1 for the Jayhawks. He has an On3 NIL Valuation of $272,000, which ranks No. 23 in college basketball.

Other Kansas stars are doing well in NIL, too

Kevin McCullar’s agreement with Charlie Hustle was facilitated by the Jayhawk-focused Mass St. Collective. McCullar was also a part of the BeONE Xfinity Series race car agreement. He’s also worked with Mass St. on a number of other agreements.

Interestingly, KJ Adams’ agreement with Charlie Hustle was negotiated directly by himself and didn’t involve an agent or a collective.

However, Adams has worked with Mass St. on other deals. He also signed in April with Priority Sports for NIL representation. Adams has an On3 NIL Valuation of $78,000, which is No. 96 in college basketball.

Additionally, Elmarko Jackson arrived in Lawrence as the No. 4 point guard recruit in the 2023 recruiting class, according to the On3 Industry Ranking. This is believed to be his first significant NIL agreement and the deal was orchestrated by his agent. Jackson has an On3 NIL Valuation of $120,000, which is No. 57 in college basketball.

About the On3 NIL Valuation

The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets the standard market NIL value for high school and college athletes. A proprietary algorithm, the On3 NIL Valuation calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories: performance, influence and exposure.

About On3 NIL Valuation, Brand Value, Roster Value