LeBron Raymone “Bronny” James Jr., the son of basketball great LeBron James, is partnering with Beats by Dre. Under the NIL deal, 18-year-old Bronny becomes the first high schooler to have ever been sponsored by the company.
Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals are used to be reserved for celebrities, but in 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association began to allow student-athletes to enter into NIL deals. So far, mostly college athletes have take advantage of this, but this prodigy is ready to make deals as well.
Details on James’ NIL
James, who has yet to announce which college he will be attending or if he will be joining a team after graduating from Sierra Canyon High School, inked a deal to be the next high-profile athlete sponsored by the Apple product. He reportedly already has a net worth of $10 million.
There’s already a promotion started with various video clips. In one clip, James’ dad appears. In the Beats by Dre video which can be seen on YouTube video, the senior James puts in his earbuds and listens to classical music. He starts practicing on the court and he is soon joined by junior, also wearing his earbuds, but listening to hip-hop. They play a game of one-on-one before LeBron gets a call on his earbuds from his wife about dinner. Again, they’re are at opposite ends. The younger James wants sushi, his dad opts for tacos.
Not Bronny’s First NIL
The Sierra Canyon High School guard also made news signing an NIL deal with Nike, and he previously signed a deal with PSD Underwear.
Student-Athletes Are Cashing n On NILs
Beats has signed NIL deals with top talent in college football, such as Bryce Young, Caleb Williams, and Shedeur Sanders.
Nike’s NIL deals also help female basketball players, who face significant gaps in pay, even the playing field.
Female athletes, who play in six of the top 10 collegiate NCAA sports, represent a growing number of NIL deal makers.
“I think it’s reflective of a broader movement that we’re seeing in sports. I think this is a reckoning, a slow reckoning, albeit, but a reckoning that there are more opportunities, more interest,” said Patrick Rishe, the Founding Director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University in St. Louis, CNBC reported.
There is money to be made. The annual NIL earnings for a student-athlete can range from $1,000 to $10,000. This is still far behind pro athletes, who are paid between $50,000 and $400,000 for the same group usage licenses, AthleticDirectorU reported.