It’s hard to believe that we’re almost a year into the introduction of Name, Image, and Likeness officially being introduced into the lives of collegiate athletes, but we’re here, and things are progressing rapidly. Yesterday, Adidas became the first major sports brand to enact a wide-sweeping, equitable and inclusive NIL network open to every eligible student-athlete at an Adidas-partnered NCAA Division I university.
Breaking Down The New Adidas NIL Program
Here are the details.
More than 50,000 student-athletes across 23 sports and 109 schools will be eligible to become paid Adidas brand ambassadors through the program, with the network roll-out beginning with HBCUs and Power-5 conference partners in Fall. By this time next year, every qualified Adidas school will have access to the program.
To help celebrate the anniversary of Title IX, the remaining schools participating in the Sweet 16 will be donning “More is Possible” t-shirts for the rest of their time in the tournament. On the back, the shirts list the iconic 37 words that formally outlawed gender discrimination in American education and collegiate athletics.
Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas, had this to say about this groundbreaking partnership.
“At Adidas, we are committed to creating change through sport and recognize the important role student-athletes play in shaping the future,” said Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America. “Our groundbreaking NIL program advances our commitments toward building inclusivity in sport and inspires athletes to realize a more equitable world. I can’t wait to see it come to life.”
Candace Parker, who has a new documentary Title IX: 37 Words That Changed America that’s set to premiere on TBS during the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four weekend programming, will also have an active voice and presence in the program.
“Adidas's NIL network is an incredible step forward for the growth of women’s sports,” adds Candace Parker, Adidas partner. “It will have an impact on the future of college athletics and hopefully create a more equal, sustainable landscape where athletes feel supported and invested in as they grow in their college careers. It builds upon Adidas's and my shared ambition to empower the next generation of women in life and sport.”
To celebrate March Madness, ‘More Is Possible’ shirts will be available for retail starting March 23 on adidas.com, Fanatics, and other local collegiate retailers for $25.
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