The sports marketing agency Postgame launched a campaign with Reebok in December that features 60 athletes, including a number of star college football and basketball players. Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh and tight end Darnell Washington each signed an NIL deal through the campaign, as did Alabama wide receiver Isaiah Bond.
The participating athletes will promote shoes including the Allen Iverson Reebok Question Mids, Allen Iverson Reebok Answer DMXs and the all-white Reebok Classics. They’ll also promote either Foot Locker or Champs Sports, where the shoes are available.
Postgame founder and CEO Bill Jula said in a phone interview the participating athletes must post an Instagram Reel and an Instagram post featuring a carousel of photos. Athletes have the option to post on TikTok rather than the Instagram Reel.
Jula said the athletes will earn different levels of compensation based on factors such as the size of their social media followings and their engagement rates.
Florida track runner Taylor Manson, who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, and Oklahoma forward Madi Williams, a two-time unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection, are two of the headlining athletes who compete in track and field, and basketball, respectively.
Jula said the agency’s goal in sourcing athletes was “trying to get a nice cross-sampling of a combination of male and female [athletes], basketball and football, some different sports. Just kind of spread it around a little bit.”
UCLA guards Tyger Campbell and Jaylen Clark, and UAB guard Jordan “Jelly” Walker, who’s the leading scorer in men’s college basketball, are some of the notable men’s basketball players who are participating in the campaign. Master P’s son Mercy Miller, who’s a combo guard at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., and who committed to Houston, is also participating.
Athletes at Nike, Under Armour schools participate in campaign
It’s notable that all of the college athletes who are participating in the Reebok campaign attend schools that have contracts with Jordan Brand, Nike or Under Armour, according to Jula.
Alabama, Florida and Georgia’s apparel partner is Nike.
UCLA’s apparel partner is Jordan Brand after it settled a lawsuit with Under Armour. Oklahoma has also partnered with Jordan Brand.
Over their lifetime, apparel contracts can be worth eight or nine figures for universities. UCLA and Under Armour originally agreed to a 15-year, $280-million contract.
However, the athletes involved in the Reebok campaign are promoting the shoes of a competitor of their school’s apparel provider.
“Obviously you’re at Ohio State, Georgia, wherever, you’re on the biggest stage with the most pressure to be wearing Nike, right? Or Under Armour, whoever they’re sponsored by,” Jula said. “The willingness to do it is one thing and to then go and also create really good content behind the brand too is a whole other thing to put in the effort.”
Postgame helped facilitate a campaign with Reebok during the holiday season in 2021, too. It featured athletes like former Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft, and former Arizona guard Dalen Terry, who was the No. 18 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Jula said there have only been two or three examples of athletes who have been unable to participate in a campaign that Postgame facilitated due to the athlete’s school having a contract with a competitor.
Institutional policies and state laws can limit the types of NIL activities athletes can pursue but Jula said that in his experience, it’s not common for athletes’ potential brand partners to be limited based on their school’s contractual relationships.
“That’s few and far between,” he said.