The new name, image, and likeness rules permitting players to profit off of their own NIL went into effect at midnight last night, and players did not wait long to take advantage of those opportunities. In fact, it was a pair of Miami Hurricanes who became early trendsetters, announcing deals with the moving company College Hunks. First, the company announced a deal with D’Eriq King as the first NCAA student athlete endorsement deal in history at 12:01. I’m sure we will see how accurate that is as details of agreements across the country emerge in the coming days and weeks, but 12:01 is hard to beat time-wise. Darren Rovell calls it the first report of a deal, at least.
Then, the company followed that with an announcement about a deal it made with with Bubba Bolden:
We are just getting started! @BubbBolden signs NIL deal with @CollegeHunks. Grit is what we look for in our H.U.N.K.S. and Bubba is the grittiest in college football. No brainer! LFG pic.twitter.com/2zi4Z9LYCE— Omar Soliman (@OmarSolimanCEO) July 1, 2021
And so it has begun. Whether you love it, hate it, or don’t care, the sports landscape has completely flipped on its head as of this morning. We’ll see just how this affects recruiting and the overall nature of college athletics over the next few years. Regardless, today is undeniably a landmark day in American sports history.
And a shout out to Ahmmon Richards of Lgndary Sports, who helped broker King’s deal. You love to see a guy who was as beloved to UM as Ahmmon working to help those. Yes, I’m sure he gets a percentage, but he’s helping these guys in the process.
So kudos to Ahmmon, and kudos to College Hunks for the deals. Good on D’Eriq and Bubba cashing in on their name that their hustle and hard work has helped build.
King hasn’t stopped there. ESPN is reporting that he and FSU QB McKenzie Milton have teamed up to form a website called Dreamfield, a NIL-based platform for student-athletes to coordinate and book live events for autograph signings, appearances, and non-fungible token market matters. With the wave of players looking to cash in on their names as the floodgates open, this could be a potentially lucrative platform for King and Milton.
Now, we’ll wait and see what further deals come about today, as I’d imagine this is only the frost on the tip of the iceberg.