Husker athletes capitalize on NIL deals

Husker athletes capitalize on NIL deals
Husker athletes capitalize on NIL deals(WMK Media Enterprises)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 9:53 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -A new commercial has been circling social media. It features one of the newest faces on the Husker Football Team giving a plug for an Omaha-based heating and cooling company.

The commercial ties into part of a Name Image and Likeness Deal. Now that it’s legal for athletes to sign such deals, they’re becoming more common and more profitable for athletes.

The viral video features Nebraska wide-receiver Decoldest Crawford has been viewed millions of times. Its release comes as NIL deals are entering a second school year and industry experts said the money put towards efforts like this will just keep increasing.

A punny use of a unique name is proving to be one of the most meme-able NIL deals yet, as the long-standing AC company, SOS Heating and Cooling, tapped Crawford for their first, and probably only, NIL deal.

“I posted a tweet two weeks ago saying we had signed with Decoldest to be our spokesperson and people were already going crazy then the funny things is that we’ve only put out a couple commercials so far so we’ve gotten all this buzz it really hasn’t been on TV much yet,” said Jake Wasikowski, SOS Heating and Cooling.

Deals like this, especially on this scale, are beneficial to both parties. Those millions of views put a decades-old business in front of a new audience.

“It’s really fun to get to go on that journey with him throughout his career here at Nebraska,” Wasikowski said.

Lincoln-based Opendorse, which serves as a middle-man in these deals, has been at the forefront of this industry. It estimates that in that first school year alone about $917 million was pumped into NIL deals.

As for year two, Opendorse said its likely spending will top more than $1 billion. However, it gets much more difficult to pinpoint just how much money is being made here. Different platforms that facilitate these deals have offered a variety of averages.

Companies like INFLCR and Athliance have reported average transactions at about $1,500 to $1,800.

Opendorse offered a breakdown of which sports are seeing the most deals. Football sits at about 30%, followed by baseball at 8% and men’s basketball at 7.6% to round out the top three. Men’s sports also received about 63% of the total compensation between both NCAA and NAIA with women bringing in about 37%.

As fall Husker sports comes back, places like SOS Heating and Cooling are working to capitalize while the iron’s hot.

“We have a second commercial that will come out once it’s heating season because you know we can’t run AC commercials all year round,” Wasikowski said.

Also new this year, those viewing Husker athletes on Opendorse can now look at what they charge for things like appearances, social media posts and endorsements.

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