Since July 2021, when the NIL (name, image and likeness) deal became official, it has changed the landscape of college sports, especially from a recruiting and eligibility standpoint, as student-athletes can earn revenue from their own name, image and likeness, without NCAA penalty.
For years universities made billions off the backs of young student-athletes who faced losing their scholarship and eligibility if they even accepted as much as a $10 sandwich from the wrong individual.
With something of this magnitude coming into play and shifting the economic landscape of “amateur” sports, it was only a matter of time before the shoe giants capitalized on the new ballgame.
Adidas Raises NIL Stakes, Spreads The Wealth
The first to do so is Adidas, which announced a deal with its 109 Division I-affiliated schools.
NCAA program lead, Jim Murphy had this to say about the landmark announcement:
“The Adidas NIL network embodies our belief that sport has the power to change lives by upskilling athletes and giving them the ability to begin to experience an entrepreneurial path that will carry them beyond their college years. This is not just a first-of-it’s-kind program for the brand and industry, it goes much wider by unlocking opportunities in business and life that will enable them as student-athletes to maximize the NIL, opening doors to future possibilities.”
The NIL network will be available to over 50,000 student-athletes of the 109 Adidas sponsored institutions. A whopping 23 different varsity sports will also be eligible to participate. This is beyond groundbreaking as it now moves NIL deals into the business and partnership realm with one of the global shoe giants.
This is a further expansion of the ever-evolving NIL. Up until now, the majority of NIL deals have been secured by marquee athletes with large social media followings or a pro future.
Student-athletes with a strong social media presence (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok) made up 88.5 percent of the first deals given in July.
Read full story at The Shadow League here.