While players across college sports jumped on the chance to sign sponsorship deals when the NCAA's name, image and likeness (NIL) rules changed last week, Tuesday saw another barrier broken.
UCF's women's basketball became the first NCAA team to sign a sponsorship deal in the new NIL Frontier. Their partner? College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving. The Tampa-based moving company also signed Miami quarterback D'eriq King as one of the first individual players with an NIL deal last Thursday.
How much will they earn?
So what does this mean for the women of UCF basketball? Senior forward Masseny Kaba told the Orlando Sentinel that each player on the team will receive $500 to promote College Hunks on their social media with the opportunity to earn more through commissions. The contract is for one year and is renewable.
“We’re really excited," Kaba told the Sentinel. "It’s something new, and we don’t really know where it’s going to go, and we’re just getting our foot in the door. Hopefully, we can grow from this opportunity and get more endorsements if those opportunities are given to us."
College Hunks owner Nick Friedman described his company as a "purpose-driven organization" in an interview with NBC on Wednesday. He said he decided with his partner to put a spotlight on women as college athletes enter a new frontier of sponsorship opportunity.
This deal comes days after an MMA gym said it would be offering each of the 90 scholarship players on Miami's football team an endorsement deal.
"As a father of three daughters and employer of a lot of women leadership in our organization, we said we need to shine the spotlight on women, on female athletes to give them an opportunity to leverage their platform and their brand just as well," Friedman said.
"I played basketball as well. We're based in Central Florida. UCF was the logical team for us to partner with. ... Hopefully it paves the way for other female athletes to leverage their image and likeness as well."
While they're the first full team with an NIL deal, UCF basketball players aren't the first women to cash in on their new NIL freedom. Fresno State basketball players and twin sisters Hanna and Haley Cavinder signed a deal with Boost Mobile in the early hours of the new NIL era last Thursday. They can now leverage their more than 3.4 million TikTok followers to make some money.
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