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Miami, UCF getting team-wide name, image and likeness deals

Less than a week into the NIL era, we’re already seeing its next evolution: team-wide deals
Every Miami Hurricanes player on scholarship will reportedly be able to make an endorsement deal with a mixed martial arts academy.
Every Miami Hurricanes player on scholarship will reportedly be able to make an endorsement deal with a mixed martial arts academy. [ Times (2018) ]
Published Jul. 6
Updated Jul. 6

College sports’ name, image and likeness era has quickly entered a new phase: entire teams landing endorsement deals together.

The state already has landed at least two such deals in the six days since legislation took effect allowing college athletes to make money off their name, image and likeness.

Related: Name, image and likeness deals started at midnight for a one-employee Tampa tech company

Rivals’ Miami site, CaneSport, reported that a mixed martial arts academy, American Top Team, will offer $500 a month to all of the Hurricanes’ scholarship players for things like social media posts and personal appearances. If every player opts in, the price tag will exceed $500,000 a year.

“I originally planned to just enter into deals with a few players, and then it hit me that there is a way bigger play here,” company founder Dan Lambert told CaneSport. “With the right contacts, effort and financial commitment, we can reach every player and get this city firmly behind this team where it should be.”

The UCF women’s basketball team is also poised for an expansive deal. College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving has sponsored the Knights’ entire roster in a deal that was finalized over the weekend. Terms have not been disclosed, but an official announcement happened Tuesday afternoon.

The deals show how quickly the name, image and likeness marketplace is evolving. The first few days centered on individual deals — some big, some small. Team deals look like one of the next steps.

They also will alleviate one of the biggest concerns about this nation-wide change. High-profile players have larger followings and will likely get more deals worth more money. If the star quarterback is bringing in thousands of dollars and his linemen aren’t, that might lead to tension in the locker room. But if everyone who wants a cut can get one with a team-wide deal, that dynamic changes, at least in this instance.

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