- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The name, image and likeness (NIL) deals keep on coming.
Thanks to the NCAA’s recent rule change allowing college athletes to monetize their personal brands, a flurry of high-profile students are inking significant deals for endorsements, media projects and more.
Holmgren, the 2021 Gatorade National Player of the Year, was widely viewed as the number one recruit in the country before committing to the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He is an early favorite to be the top pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
WME Sports has been expanding its reach in recent years, hiring a number of agents and investing in Bill Duffy’s BDA Sports. Earlier this month the firm signed NBA all-star Luka Dončić in all areas off-court.
Football and basketball are arguably the two most popular college sports and top players in both sports are among the biggest earners in NIL deals, spanning both local and regional deals close to their colleges (in Gonzaga’s case, Spokane, Washington) as well as national deals owing to their team’s presence on ESPN, the probability they will advance far in the NCAA March Madness tournament or the likelihood of a pro career after college.
In addition to sponsorships and endorsements, some college athletes have also inked media deals. Most notably University of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young signed an NIL deal with Colin Cowherd’s The Volume to host a weekly college football podcast. The Volume also has a podcast hosted by players for Notre Dame.
The wave of NIL deals also allows agencies like WME to forge relationships with athletes earlier in their careers, relationships that could expand if and when the players turn pro.
“Talk about parting the Red Sea here, the space is wide open,” Endeavor president Mark Shapiro told The Hollywood Reporter over the summer. “And if we do right by them, ultimately, we sign them down the road for their on-the-field contracts. The heavens have opened up on this one.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day