Travis Hunter delivering in NIL partnership with SoHoodie

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos02/09/24

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There is no questioning the value Travis Hunter brings to an NIL partnership.

The Colorado star is one of the most electric players in college football, playing both ways as a wide receiver and defensive back. He checks off everything a major brand is looking for, too, as the former five-star recruit brings 2 million social media followers to the table. His 285,000 YouTube subscribers is a solid add-on, too.

But what has impressed SoHoodie CEO Mike Baruch the most since his company entered into a deal with Hunter has been the ambassador’s unselfishness. Travis Hunter has one of the most decorated NIL portfolios in college football. But he loves working with SoHoodie, constantly giving the product free advertising and marketing.

“[SoHoodie co-worker] Matt [Fine] and I were sitting here the other day and I said, ‘Hey, I got to ask him [Travis] something,'” Baruch recently told On3. “I was able to pick up the phone, call him and on two rings he picked up and answered. So from a respect to transparency level, and just doing business, really just an absolute gem. And then from that aspect of what he’s been able to do, above and beyond. We had a plan of doing some posts together, which we went down and did a photo shoot in Colorado came out really good.

“Next thing we know, a few weeks later, he comes out on the USC game wearing the hoodie on the sideline the whole game, bringing awareness to the brand.”

Through his long-term relationship with SoHoodie, Hunter has his own hoodie for sale which features the “I’m Him” phrase on the side. According to data provided by the company, when Hunter promotes SoHoodie on social media, the company sees a 70% increase in traffic.

The one-size-fits-all hoods are popular among youth football players but also in college football and the NFL. The hood can protect a player’s head and neck from the sun and the material used in production is terry, which allows players to dip it in water to stay cool while exercising.

SoHoodie has sold thousands of the “I’m Him” hoodies. Over the past 18 months, the hood has been the brand’s second-highest-selling hood.

“SoHoodie has been a really successful NIL deal so far, I love to promote the products I truly enjoy wearing,” Hunter said in a statement to On3. “So being able to promote my own line of SoHoodie that represents me and my game is something really cool. I see so many people now wearing the ‘I’m Him’ hood and it reminds me of all the hard work I’ve put in and how I have to keep working to become one of the best.”

SoHoodie has licensing agreements with Alabama, Colorado, USC and Utah. The company also has collabs with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers and the influencer AJ Greene. In the past, it’s also worked with Michael VickLeSean McCoy and Aaron Donald.

“A lot of athletes have not really done that much on their own whether it’s NFL guys or certain individuals we’ve worked in the past, but Travis is one of one,” Baruch said.

SoHoodie isn’t done working with the Hunter family, though. The company is looking into adding Travis Hunter’s younger brother to the family. The brand is looking forward to working with the Colorado star during the 2024 season, too. Hunter finished the 2023 regular season playing 1,032 total snaps, finishing with 57 catches for 721 yards and five touchdowns. On the defensive of the ball, he tallied 30 total tackles with three interceptions.

Past the on-field success, Hunter also has long-term contracts with the Michael Strahan BrandActively Black and NXTRND. He’s tapped into his fishing hobby through NIL, inking deals with WaterLand Co.KastKing and Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits.

With an On3 NIL Valuation of $2.3 million, SoHoodie is happy to know Travis Hunter continues working with them.

“I think it’s a testament to what Travis has been able to build from his brand since high school leading up to today,” Baruch said. “His brand and what he’s able to do on the field speaks volumes for all the deals and things that come with that. And SoHoodie is part of that.

“So from a football standpoint, like just being a fan of the game, I think he’s probably one of the best football players. He’s that type of player where he could change the game at any moment.”