Colorado's Travis Hunter signs NIL deal with Squishmallows

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos11/10/23


Andy Staples Week 11 Picks: Arizona at Colorado | 11.06.23

Travis Hunter is building out an NIL brand his way.

The Colorado cornerback and wide receiver has a rising brand. With a popular YouTube page and nearly 2 million social media followers, plenty of companies have lined up to work with the former five-star recruit. But instead of jumping at every deal, he’s used his NIL platform to align with businesses he wants to work with.

Hunter worked with a number of fishing companies this summer, including WaterLand Co., which specializes in polarized fishing sunglasses, and a custom bait business. Hunter is known as an avid fisherman, a passion he developed in his hometown of Suwanee, Georgia.

Now the two-way star for Colorado has signed an NIL agreement with one of his favorite brands – Squishmallows. Whenever Hunter is firing up his video game system and streaming on Twitch, he typically has a variety of Squishmallows sitting on his bed.

Launched in 2017, the anthropomorphic stuffed toys have become increasingly popular. The second-year player made the announcement on his Instagram on Thursday, promoting the brand’s trip to Boulder for this weekend’s game with No. 23 Arizona.

“I know you’ve seen me and my Squishmallows, now is the chance to get yours,” Hunter said. “This Saturday at Fan Fest at Folsom Field. It starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m.”

The Colorado player has more than 24,000 followers on Twitch. Hunter is typically wearing a onesie with his Squishmallows in the background when he streams. In the ad he released Thursday, he was holding a few of the stuffed toys.

Travis Hunter thriving on field, in NIL

The Colorado cornerback and wide receiver entered the Heisman Trophy conversation in the first two weeks of the year, playing 274 snaps through two games. A sitting Power 5 head coach characterized him to On3 as a “freak.” 

But he lacerated his liver following a big hit in the third game of the season against Colorado State. While he missed time with his injury, he connected with Rams’ safety Henry Blackburn, who delivered the late hit that caused the injury. 

Despite missing three games, he’s still one of the most electric players. He’s played 405 snaps since his return, putting up some jaw-dropping numbers.

Against Stanford, Hunter tallied 13 catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns. The next week at UCLA, he pieced together a strong performance on the defensive side with two interceptions. The sophomore had a touchdown and two tackles last week against Oregon State.

Even though the Heisman conversation has slowed down around Hunter, he’s been able to cash in on his name, image and likeness.

The two-way star’s social media following has seen a notable uptick this season, now sitting at more than 1.9 million. Beyond InstagramX and TikTok, he’s built a major YouTube page. With more than 272,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, he is able to profit from the videos he posts. His coach also runs a successful YouTube page, managed by Deion Sanders Jr. and named “Well Off Media.”

Past the YouTube success, Hunter has long-term contracts with the Michael Strahan BrandActively BlackSoHoodie and NXTRND. Earlier this season, he re-signed his endorsement deal with Celsius Fitness Drinks. And he’s giving back with custom cleats through a partnership with 7-Eleven. He’s added deals with American Eagle and Cheez-It, too. The cornerback and wide receiver is repped by SMAC Entertainment and Constance Schwartz-Morini.

Travis Hunter’s On3 NIL Valuation

Travis Hunter holds a $2.2 million On3 NIL Valuation, which is a $410,000 increase over the last 10 weeks. The valuation is No. 4 in college football. It is also No. 6 in the On3 NIL 100, the first of its kind and defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their 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

While the algorithm includes deal data, it does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals athletes have completed to date, nor does it set an athlete’s NIL valuation for their entire career.