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Adidas creates NIL network for athletes at its partner schools

Who wants to sell some crummy shirts?

Clemson v NC State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Adidas announced yesterday that athletes at its partner schools will have the opportunity to take advantage of a new name-image-likeness network that the brand is creating. This will be rolled out first at HBCUs and power-five schools later this year, which means that beginning in the fall, NC State athletes have the potential to earn money through this initiative.

How much money? Probably not all that much. Athletes will get a percentage of the sales they drive to Adidas’ website, or through its app, and will be paid for social media posts. The whole thing has a nice glossy marketing sheen to it but doesn’t appear to be anything more than Adidas spotting a way to give itself a whole bunch of cheap affiliate salespeople.

I’d imagine that an athlete would need to already have a good social media following to drive enough sales to make doing this worthwhile, and those athletes are the ones more likely to find better NIL opportunities than this one, anyway.

So is this going to be a significant recruiting advantage for Adidas schools? No, I don’t think it’s going to be a game-changer in that respect. Nobody’s signing a letter-of-intent because they’re excited about hawking some t-shirts.