ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 25: Marvin Harrison Jr. #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is seen during warmups before a college football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 25: Marvin Harrison Jr. #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is seen during warmups before a college football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

5 of The Best NIL Deals This Season

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The 2023 college football season was the most exciting yet in terms of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals. In just its third season since its inception, the creativity of NIL deals grew every week throughout the season. Here is a look back on five of the most interesting deals throughout the season.

Powerade

Powerade partnered with LSU quarterback (QB) Jayden Daniels, FSU defensive lineman Jared Verse, and Georgia cornerback Malaki Starks in August. Each athlete worked with Powerade to create a commercial, plus several social media posts promoting the brand.

In the commercial, each player carries out each of their individual school’s traditions. Verse is pictured breaking the FSU rock while Starks is seen by the famous Sanford Stadium Hedges. Daniels represents the LSU tradition of hitting the win bar

Jordan Travis – Personal Merchandise

FSU QB Jordan Travis was part of one of the most famous NIL scandals this year when he caught the attention of ‘Tiger King’ star, Joe Exotic.

After Travis beat LSU and Clemson, he released t-shirts picturing himself on a throne with both teams’ mascots under him. Joe Exotic got news of the clothing line and was none too happy about the student-athlete’s new endeavor. He said that it was trademark infringement even though Travis in no way claimed to be the ‘Tiger King.”

“Until Jordan Travis walks in a cage with 20 full-grown tigers and kisses them on the head, leave the Tiger King business to me,” Exotic said.

Although he originally started the feud with Travis, Exotic followed up with him after he was injured. The Netflix star posted on Instagram, wishing Travis the best.

SAXX Underwear

UCLA defensive lineman Laiatu Latu contributed one of the most respected NIL deals this year. Latu, plus several other student-athletes partnered with SAXX underwear to bring awareness to a certain health condition.

Every time one of the athletes part of the deal sacked a quarterback, SAXX pledged to donate $1,000 to the Testicular Cancer Foundation

“It’s cool to be recognized by SAXX as one of the top defensive leaders in college football,” said Latu. “But I was drawn to this partnership because of the charitable aspect. Even though we don’t wear the same school colors as each other, the All-SAXX Conference pledge is something we can all get behind,” the edge rusher said.

7-11 Cleat Crew

7-11’s NIL deal was one of the coolest deals this year due to its fan involvement. In September, the convenience store chain teamed up with several high-profile athletes like Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Michigan running back Blake Corum, and Oregon QB Bo Nix to auction nine pairs of cleats personally designed by the athletes and The Shoe Surgeon.

Fans had the opportunity to win each athlete’s shoes with auctions taking place throughout the course of two months. The proceeds went to charities that each athlete personally chose.

“Visiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital was the best way to close out the Cleat Crew program. Getting to meet face-to-face with the people these funds are benefiting made my involvement so much more meaningful,” said Marvin Harrison, Jr. “I am grateful to 7-Eleven and Speedway for allowing me the chance to give back to the community here in Columbus.”

Beats by Dre

Beats by Dre undoubtedly helped produce one of the most unique deals yet. The headphone company partnered with 15 athletes throughout the 2023 season and provided enough headphones for each athlete to donate a pair to each of their teammates. 

A few of the athletes included Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman, USC QB Caleb Williams, LSU QB Jayden Daniels, Washington QB Michael Penix Jr., and more prominent athletes. 

Hartman introduced the deal to his teammates and ​​linebacker Michael Vinson showed his appreciation for the gift. 

“It’s like Christmas every day with Sam Hartman,” Vinson joked.

Who knows what NIL deals are next?

Victoria Jonach is an aspiring writer and media analyst fascinated by what kinds of activities players participate in off the football field. Growing up in New Jersey, she is a New York Giants fan and attends Rutgers University, pursuing a career in Journalism and Media Studies. She writes for FirstRoundMock.com covering anticipated draft picks and their acts of volunteerism, entrepreneurship, and other interests that shape these individuals.

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