NIL activity only continues to ramp up across the board.
With every fall collegiate sport now in action and basketball season drawing closer, the number of activations and deals being announced continue to rise. Major brands are really starting to go all-in, while local businesses continue to stay loyal to their athletes and deliver opportunities.
This week seemed to capture deals from all across the partnership spectrum.
With a mission to highlight the top deals of every week, the On3 NIL team will focus on identifying noteworthy deals in the college athletics landscape. As a reminder, feel free to submit info on your NIL deal to On3. You can send an email to [email protected] or reach out via DM or comment on Twitter to @On3NIL or @deals_nil. Direct messages are open, too, on the @On3NIL Instagram account.
Let’s get to the deals that defined this week in NIL.
Anthony Richardson, Jared McCain sign on with Champs Sports
Champs Sports made sure its impact was felt in the NIL world this week. The sports retail company inked deals with an SEC quarterback and up-and-coming college basketball star this week.
And Duke basketball commit Jared McCain signed a multi-year NIL partnership with Champs Sports, On3 confirmed on Wednesday. As part of his deal, he will appear in the Eastbay Performance “Field Day” Collection next to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Both signify an uptick in the aggressive plan Champs has to attack NIL. Up until this week, Miami basketball players Haley and Hanna Cavinder had been the biggest names to ink deals with the sports retail business. They have been featured in multiple marketing campaigns and appeared in back-to-school advertisements.
Richardson stole the spotlight in Week 1 of the college football season, pulling off an upset win over Utah. Since then, the Heisman Trophy talk has started to fizzle out. He struggled against Kentucky and South Florida, failing to throw a touchdown pass this season. But he has a major opportunity this weekend when the Gators head to Neyland Stadium for top-25 matchup with Tennessee. He currently holds an On3 NIL evaluation of $435k, which ranks No. 72 in the college football NIL rankings. He also has a social media following of 109,000, thanks to more than 71,000 just on Instagram.
McCain has carefully crafted a strong brand before he even reaches the college ranks. He announced a deal with Lemon Perfect in August. He has his own pair of Crocs. The senior at Corona Centennial High School, just outside of Los Angeles, has positioned himself to be a NIL star. The five-star recruit has an On3 NIL Valuation of $983,000, which ranks fourth in On3’s high school NIL basketball rankings. He only trails Bronny James ($7.3 million), Mikey Williams ($3.5 million) and Hansel Enmanuel ($1.5 million).
Caleb Williams, AC+ION Water partner to raise money for youth
What is Caleb Williams not doing in NIL these days.
The USC quarterback and AC+ION Water have partnered to raise money for his foundation, Caleb Cares. The cash will go to the charity’s three focuses: anti-bullying, youth empowerment and mental health awareness.
As part of the agreement, the ion-charged alkaline water brand will donate $50,000 to the foundation. And for every touchdown Williams scores, another $1,300 will be added, a play on the quarterback’s No. 13 jersey. The initiative will close when the total number of cash reaches $76,000.
This is not his first partnership with the company. He’s been promoting the brand since he appeared on Good Morning America back in February. And Williams is currently starring in a television commercial for the AC+ION. The ad made its debut two weeks ago, appearing on Week 1’s “Thursday Night Football,” some select college football games and in California markets.
UConn star Paige Bueckers adds Bose to NIL portfolio
Paige Bueckers has been one of NIL’s biggest winners in the first year and change of the NCAA’s new era. The UConn women’s basketball star has a deal with Crocs, and she became the first student-athlete to ever sign a partnership with Gatorade back in December.
This week, she added Bose to her portfolio. She becomes the second women’s basketball player to ink an NIL agreement with the audio equipment company; South Carolina‘s Aliyah Boston signed a deal with Bose ahead of March Madness.
“I am excited to officially join the Bose family,” Bueckers wrote on Instagram. “You already know the soundtrack to my comeback is going to be epic and louder than ever thanks to Bose. I’ve got my QCE II earbuds in and we are locked in.”
The 2020-21 national player of the year, Bueckers will miss this winter with an ACL injury. She has announced, however, plans to return to UConn for at least another year. The college women’s basketball star stands to make more money from NIL opportunities in college than she would earn by playing in the WNBA.
Bueckers is also closing in on 1.5 million followers across her Instagram, Twitter and TikTok accounts. She’s currently at 1.45 million followers. Finding NIL opportunities is not going to be a problem for Paige Bueckers, and that’s not even factoring in what she might command in the market when she’s back to full health.
BLVD collective sets 100+ players up with electric scooter deal
It signed an official official luxury car dealer. Plans were announced to fly families to games. And original content continues to drop heavily featuring athletes, who are paid to appear in the brand-building videos.
On Sunday afternoon, BLVD announced it had set up an NIL deal with more than 100 players, gifting each athlete a Ridel electric scooter. The stylish, rechargeable vehicle will help players get across campus to classes and practice. Ridel’s scooters are valued at $399.
In exchange for the scooters, USC players will promote the businesses of BLVD donors, who helped fund the purchase of the two-wheeled motor scooters.
Entire Florida offensive line signs with Sonny’s BBQ
Identifying certain position groups on teams continues to be a popular NIL trend. The “Burnt Ends” program at Texas saw each member of the tight end room sign a deal, with each athlete guaranteed the same amount. USC’s BLVD LLC collective struck a season-long agreement with The Rex Steakhouse, where the restaurant will feed select offensive and defensive linemen weekly throughout the season.
And now, Gainesville-based Sonny’s BBQ is taking care of Florida‘s offensive line. As part of the agreement, the student-athletes will appear at the restaurant throughout the season and score some free food in the process. The contracts were signed before the start of the season, and every athlete was compensated the same amount.
Florida’s offensive line includes: Jalen Farmer, Christian Williams, Austin Barber, Riley Simonds, Kingsley Eguakun, Jake Slaughter, Richard Leonard, William Harrod, Kamryn Waites, Ethan White, Kaleb Boateng, O’Cyrus Torrence, David Conner, Michael Tarquin, Joshua Braun, Mark Pitts, Richard Gouraige, Yousef Mugharbil and Jordan Herman.
Former Florida All-American offensive lineman turned Sonny’s BBQ pitmaster and ambassador Shannon Snell helped execute the deal. Sonny’s first opened in 1968 in Gainesville by Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his family. Since then, the BBQ restaurant has grown to 96 locations across the country.
- Former five-star plus recruit Travis Hunter signed on with Michael Strahan‘s lifestyle brand. He will be the face of multiple brand efforts and appear in advertisements across the company’s print, digital and social platforms.
- CAMPUS, Tim Tebow’s NFT startup, has agreed to deals with Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis and running back Lawrance Toafili, Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers and Florida gymnast Leah Clapper to launch their own exclusive clubs.
- Kentucky receiver Dane Key shared a commercial for WinStar Farms stallion Nashville. The 30-second spot features Key and Nashville showing off their speed with the tagline “Speed is Key.”
- The South Carolina Peanut Board and Georgia Peanut Commission honored last Saturday’s matchup with some NIL deal. Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith and South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler signed deals with their state’s respective peanut association, promoting the healthy aspects of peanuts on their Instagram accounts.