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Report: Kayvon Thibodeaux signs marketing deal with United Airlines originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
When the NIL passed allowing college athletes to make money from their likeness, it opened the floodgates for athletes across all sports to be compensated based on their value.
What makes the new rule even more interesting is seeing the value future pro athletes will get.
Insert: Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux. The defensive end and possible No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft has signed a marketing deal with United Airlines. The airline will provide direct flights for select away games for the Ducks this upcoming season from Eugene, Oregon.
"Partnering with United Airlines was a no-brainer for me, as they are a premium brand with the same core values as I have," Thibodeaux said in a statement to ESPN. "I look forward to a long-standing relationship with United."
Fittingly, the direct flight's partnership will commence when the Ducks make their way to Ohio to face off against Ohio State on Sept. 11.
Not much of a surprise, but Thibodeaux has been one of the top beneficiaries of the ruling change, as he’s committed to deals totaling around $400,000, per ESPN.
Included in his partnerships is an NFT deal with Nike founder Phil Knight and designer Tinker Hatfield. Worth noting, Oregon is a Nike school.
"Phil Knight just reached out to me. They already had the plan, and they just chose me to be the exemplar guy," Thibodeaux told ESPN. "They created the art, and I'm blessed with that opportunity. I feel like they want to work with me in the future, which is why they gave me the opportunity."
Good things keep coming for the possible No. 1 pick in next year's draft. All of it is fitting, as he was named to first-team All-Pac-12 last year and was the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2019, and entered Oregon as the top player in the Class of 2019.