Kentucky QB Will Levis signs NIL deal with Ale-8-One soda brand

On3 imageby:Andy Wittry08/30/22


Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, whose Heisman Trophy odds are among the best in the country, has signed an NIL deal with the Winchester, Kentucky-based soda brand Ale-8-One, according to a press release.

Athlete Advantage represents Levis and helped arrange the NIL deal. The terms of the deal were not released.

“We are excited to be able to take part in this new opportunity to partner with an outstanding college athlete who represents a premier university in the national college football landscape. We hope this partnership further shines a light on his skills on the gridiron and as a modern marketer in the ever-evolving world of college athletics,” Ale-8-One Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Price said in the release.

“The fact that Levis has showcased the ability to captivate audiences and is right here in our home state, presented us with a unique opportunity to focus on positive community support and engagement. This exciting partnership will launch this fall with a series of activations across the region.”

Ale-8-One has a claim as the oldest privately held bottler in the U.S. that’s still owned and operated by the founding family. According to the release, Fielding Rogers, the great-great-nephew of Ale-8-One founder G.L. Wainscott, personally blends every batch of soda.

Levis’ deal is another example of a beverage company getting involved in the NIL market. Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz and running back Braelon Allen announced last week that they signed NIL deals with Pepsi.

Will Levis’ approach to NIL

Will Levis chose not to pursue any NIL opportunities last season. His approach changed in the lead-up to the 2022 season but he said he still wants to prioritize the team and the Wildcats’ on-field success.

“I’m still being very methodical and meticulous about how I’m approaching NIL in that I don’t want to overstrain myself,” Levis told On3 in June at the NIL Summit. “I want to make sure every time I’m talking about NIL or talking about doing a prospective deal, I keep reminding myself to keep the main goal, the main goal, which is to focus on the team and focus on our success as a team because with that and team success comes everything I want individually.”

Levis said he trusted Athlete Advantage to represent him after seeing the company work with other Kentucky football players last season.

“They were able to help a couple of players the season I decided not to do anything NIL-related and when I saw the success they had with them, I really trusted their ability to represent me,” Levis said. “They’ve done a really, really good job with me.”

Will Levis’ 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. Its proprietary algorithm calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories, including an athlete’s performance, influence and exposure.

Will Levis’ On3 NIL Valuation of $638,000 ranks No. 52 on the On3 NIL 100. The On3 NIL 100 is the first of its kind and the defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their projected market valuation.

Levis’ NIL deals include partnerships with Paul Miller Ford, which resulted in a sleek commercial, shoe and apparel brand NOBULL and Boone’s Trace National Golf Club.

Levis’ On3 NIL Valuation ranks No. 32 among college football players, thanks to his 138,000 TikTok followers and 73,000 Instagram followers.

“My roommate got me into TikTok when I was at Penn State,” Levis said. “I just started it for fun. When the NIL stuff came up, I realized how I could use it as a way to kind of show my personality and give my audience access to the side of me that they wouldn’t from traditional content that’s just football stuff.”