Adidas announces the creation of an extensive NIL network


More than 50,000 students will have the opportunity to leverage their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) under a new Adidas initiative.

The brand announced on Wednesday the formation of an NIL network that will be accessible to its 109 NCAA Division I partner schools. Through this program, eligible students from 23 DI sports will have the opportunity to become a paid brand ambassador of Adidas, a first for a major sports brand.

The initiative is the latest chapter in Adidas’ “Impossible Is Nothing” campaign, which promotes the brand’s goal of creating a more equitable and inclusive future in sport. For starters, athletes will have the ability to take advantage of commission ties, but Adidas also plans to offer elevated brand partnership and entrepreneurial opportunities.

“We hope to uplift student-athletes by providing educational opportunities to learn more about NIL and the business landscape, which may include bringing them into brand moments and campaigns, partnering with athlete partners and ambassadors. existing brands,” said Adidas NCAA program manager Jim Murphy. in a statement to Illustrated Sports. “But we really want to open the doors to a more equitable future outside of just unlocking monetary rewards. We want to help them grow as student-athletes and prepare them for a future beyond varsity sports.

The inspiration to allow a wide range of athletes from its member schools to benefit from their name, image and likeness stemmed from Adidas’ goal to impact as many people as possible. while bringing a thoughtful approach to NIL.

“We started thinking about how we could do something on a larger scale outside of individual sponsorship deals,” Murphy said. IF. “When we really looked at NIL and anchored it in our mission statement that through sport we have the power to change lives, I think that’s when we really started to grasp the ‘idea.”

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Adidas plans to roll out the extensive network in four phases over the next year. The first will be the Power 5 programs and historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), whose athletes will be able to take advantage of their NIL in the fall.

It was important to Adidas that HBCU students were among the first to benefit from this initiative.

“As we look at college athletics and see some of the discrepancies in the landscape, we want to make sure that we elevate our HBCUs and try to find every moment that we can really elevate in this space and provide opportunities for them that, quite frankly , in the past, they might not have had the means,” Murphy said.

The NIL Network unveiling also honors the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which the brand will commemorate on the NCAA Tournament stage. Athletes from Adidas-affiliated schools, including Kansas, Louisville, Saint Peter’s and more, will wear shirts from the Sweet 16 that read “More is possible.” On the back, the folders have a passage of Title IX legislation.

This is just the start of Adidas’ plans to promote change and level the playing field in sport, but the NIL initiative and Title IX campaign intend to remind audiences and inspire the discussion of a message: “More is possible”.

“We can do more,” Murphy said. “And this NIL program is just one example of how we will continue to find touchpoints in the market to amplify our athletes and ensure they are grounded in fair opportunities as they progress through our universes.”

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