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NIL Deals of the Week: TJ Finley makes NIL history, Will Anderson signs exclusive apparel deal with Rhoback

Pete Nakos08/04/22
Article written by:On3 imagePete Nakos

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NIL Deals
Marina Puhalj/On3

The week of team-wide deals. That was the theme this week across NIL.

Arkansas basketball signed on a local charity, the Children’s Safety Center, through the Athlete Advocate Consortium. The Texas Tech women’s basketball also inked a partnership with Level 13 Agency, a Lubbock-based firm. The deal calls for each member to receive a $25,000 deal.

And with a new year of college athletics about to begin, the number of group deals are only ramping up. Group deals guarantee access to NIL money for the entire locker room. They’re easy to access.

There are plenty of creative and original partnerships to highlight in this week’s NIL Deals of the Week. 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 highlighted this week in NIL.

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Texas Tech women’s basketball team inks deal with Level 13 agency, will each receive $25,000

The cash just keeps rolling in for Texas Tech athletics.

Last month, The Matador Club, a Red Raider collective, announced it was signing 100 members of the football team to a one-year, $25,000 deal. With the announcement, the organization announced similar deals were coming for the basketball and baseball programs.

But it turns out, another group has emerged to offer the same deal to Texas Tech women’s basketball. Level 13 Agency, a Lubbock-based firm, announced Friday each member of the team will receive a $25,000 deal. It’s believed to be the largest team-wide NIL partnership in women’s sports.

Marc McDougal, a board members of the Matador Club, is also one of two owners of Level 13, which bills itself as “understanding the connection between marketing, fundraising, and talent management.”

Texas Tech women’s basketball finished 11-18 overall and 4-14 in the Big 12 last season. The program did win a national championship in 1993 and has appeared in 20 NCAA Tournaments. But the Red Raiders have not made the Big Dance since 2013.

Boasting one of the largest-known team deals in college sports could be enough to piece together the recruiting classes needed to return to March Madness.

TJ Finley makes NIL history

Auburn quarterback TJ Finley became the first college football player to sign a deal with Amazon on Tuesday night. Clemson basketball’s Brevin Galloway signed with Amazon earlier this month. Ranging from sweatshirts to cell phone pop grips, Finley has 26 total pieces of merchandise up on the marketplace. Items range from $17 to $35 and are available for shipping through Amazon Prime. 

Not only is the deal monumental for Finley, it shows Amazon’s willingness to enter the NIL game. The corporation brought in$469.8 billion of revenue in 2021. And sources have identified to On3 that the e-commerce, cloud computing and digital streaming company is just getting started. More deals with Amazon will be rolled out this fall.

Even more notable is Finley’s status on Auburn’s roster. The quarterback is currently in the middle of a battle with Texas A&M transfer Zach Calzada.

Both Galloway and Finley’s deals were brokered by Dreamfield Company, which is a NIL deal-making platform. Sources told On3 that other deals from Amazon are coming from additional NIL platforms.

Amazon is not the first major corporation to partake in NIL. Meta has partnered with INFLCR, while NikeUnder Armour and Adidas have crafted specific strategies for the new era of college athletics. And Gatorade has been selective in its process, too.

Will Anderson continues to cash in on NIL potential

Speaking at SEC Media Days last month, Will Anderson was honest about how he has utilized NIL this summer.

“I feel like right now I put money aside for, of course, myself, but I really am doing NIL to help my family a lot,” the Alabama linebacker said. “I don’t want my parents to have to be stressed and worried about how they’re going to get to my games, any of that stuff like that. So to be able to take care of all that and to help them out to make sure that they’re living well enough to balance everything out has been great.”

He inked another deal this week, too. The top defensive player in college football, Anderson has signed on with the fast-growing activewear company Rhoback. The exclusive apparel deal includes a base fee along with a revenue sharing component. He’s already appeared in a newsletter for the business.

“We are beyond pumped to welcome Will Anderson to the Rhoback family,” the company wrote in a press release. “An All-American and winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the best defensive player in college football, Will will be a leading face of our Rhoback U program.”

Anderson has been active this summer on the NIL scene. He has been driving a 2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS, which has a current resale value of $120,000. And he’s also formed A3 Athletes, or Athletes 3.0, a brand the linebacker said he created to help other athletes navigate the complex NIL landscape. He’s received help from with Brian JonesKenyan Drake and Dwight Johnson, too.

The captain of Alabama’s defense, Anderson has an On3 NIL Valuation of $1.3 million, which places him in the top 15 of the NIL 100. Through it all, Anderson’s focus is still football. And he is aware that the signing bonus he will receive in the NFL will dwarf whatever he earns in NIL.

Arkansas men’s basketball team signs on with Athlete Advocate Consortium

 The Athletes Advocate Consortium (AAC) announced Monday night that the entire Razorbacks’ roster has signed a deal with the Children’s Safety Center. It’s just another major team-wide NIL deal to be announced. No terms of the deal was announced.

Founded by Bryan and Mandy Hunt, the AAC is a NIL collective focused on partnering athletes with area charities. In the first year of operation, the AAC partnered with former Arkansas basketball star JD Notae. The deal helped secured more than $50,000 in funding for Samaritan Community Center.

Monday night’s announcement comes after Arkansas signed the second-ranked recruiting class in the 2022 cycle this offseason, marking the highest-ranked class in program history. With three five-star signees, the Razorbacks signed the SEC’s top class, too.

Founded in 1997, the Children’s Safety Center is based in Washington County and aims to help children overcome abuse. The AAC also put individual deals in place for Arizona State transfer Jalen Graham and McDonald’s All-American Jordan Walsh. Graham will partner with the Samaritan Community Center, while Walsh will partner with the Jones Center.

The sweetest deal of the week

Tennessee‘s Cedric Tillman will be the official “Cookie Monster” for the upcoming football season. The Moonshine Mountain Cookie Company, based in Knoxville, Tenn., signed the receiver on Tuesday afternoon.

Last season, Moonshine Mountain Cookies partnered with defensive back Alontae Taylor. If Taylor made an interception, the Knoxville company gave two free cookies to anyone who stopped in after the game.

This time around if Tillman catches two touchdown passes in any game this year, Moonshine Mountain Cookie Company will give away two free cookies. Tillman is one of the top returning receivers in the SEC. He had 1,081 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns in 2021, so there’s a good chance Moonshine Mountain Cookies may be giving away a lot of cookies.

These original deals are great for both the athlete and business. It’s why NIL was battled over for years. And it lets athletes give back to the community — with a sweet touch.