Story Poster
Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Can Notre Dame Keep Up In The NIL Race?

July 7, 2021
11,471

The world of college sports changed last week as athletes can now profit off their name, image and likeness. 

As it relates to college football, Miami has taken a firm hold of the new NIL rules as quarterback D’Eriq King and safety Bubba Bolden announced deals $20,000 deals with College Hunks. 

On Tuesday, South Florida businessman Dan Lambert set a high bar as he offered every single Miami scholarship player an endorsement deal with his company, American Top Team, a chain of MMA gyms across the country. There are 12 gyms in South Florida, five others across the Sunshine State and 14 other states. 

Each player who accepts the endorsement will be paid $500 a month for in-person appearances and Social Media posts. Lambert could end up paying out $540,000 if every scholarship player accepts and enters the ‘Bring Back The U’ campaign. 

"The NIL legislation is an amazing opportunity for businesses and fans to directly impact the lives of these players and the national reputation of our team," Lambert said to CaneSport.com. "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. 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. We can BRING BACK THE U."

Later on Tuesday, it was reported that Oregon star Kayvon Thibodeax had landed a “6-figure memorabilia deal” in addition to a collaboration with Nike execs Phil Knight and Tinker Hatfield, who are both Oregon grads. 

Across the country, you’ve seen several deals go into place from fireworks, to pet stores, tea, food delivery services and the chance to play live music using the player's real name. 

Several Notre Dame players have been fortunate enough already to set up deals with YOKE Gaming, the video game platform started by former Irish walk-on Mick Assaf. The offensive line has a deal with Mission BBQ, while several players have also signed up for Cameo, including Kyle Hamilton, Kyren Williams and Rylie Mills. 

Hamilton will also try his hand at podcasting as he’ll join teammates KJ Wallace, Cam Hart and Conor Ratigan for Inside the Garage. 

It’s up for debate whether or not large Social Media followings are the sweet spot for athletes to receive more endorsements as they need to be marketable first and foremost.

It depends on branding," ESQ Clothing owner Ge Wang explained. "These guys might get free Nike shoes or something, but this is where I go back to the 90 percent of businesses having an entrenched brand already. Clients aren't really going to care what a 20-year old kid is doing. 

"The brand has to be geared towards high school and college-aged kids, but there's not a huge market there because those kids don't have a lot of money to spend." 

It also can’t hurt to have a large Social Media presence.

Some Notre Dame players have respectable Social Media followings, but they’re dwarfed by some of the sport’s largest accounts.

Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler has almost 400,000 Instagram followers and almost 63,000 on Twitter. Washington defensive back Bookie Radley-Hiles, who transferred from Oklahoma, has more than 170,000 followers on Instagram and another 65,000 on Twitter. Ohio State receiver Chris Olave has more than 110,000 followers on Instagram and almost 50,000 on Twitter.

Some of the largest Social Media followings come from the Olympic sports.

LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne has more than 1 million followers on Instagram and Tiktok. Kentucky hurdler Masai Russell has more than 375,000 followers on Tiktok and another 150,000 on Instagram.

Fresno State women’s basketball twins Haley and Hanna Cavinda sport a Tiktok audience of 3.3 million and they each have more than 250,000 followers on Instagram.

The Irish have plenty of room to grow their followings.

Here’s how they stack up amongst themselves on Twitter and Instagram.

Name Twitter Instagram
0 WR Braden Lenzy @blspeedy21 (6,487) @bradenlenzy (9,806)
3 WR Avery Davis @realaverydavis (4,513) @3averydavis (5,542)
3 S Houston Griffith @___HG3 (7,895) @___hg3 (18,000)
4 WR Kevin Austin Jr.  @Ka_szn (3,785) @ka_szn (4,883)
5 CB Cam Hart @CamHart_ (1,647) @camahart (4,883)
7 DE Isaiah Foskey @IFoskey (2,559) @isaiah.foskey (4,382)
7 QB Brendon Clark None @bren_clark7 (2,151)
8 QB Cole Capen @colecapen (347) @colecapen (1,373)
10 LB Isaiah Pryor @D1Zay13 (8,435) @isaiah_pryor13 (3,553)
10 QB Drew Pyne @dpyne10 (5,408) @drewpyne (11,200)
11 Ron Powlus III @RonPowlus (1,090) @ronpowlusiii (2,794)
11 CB Ramon Henderson @kiiing_ramon7 (1,359) @kiiing.ramon (2,327)
12 QB Tyler Buchner @tylerbuchner (6,303) @tylerbuchner (14,900)
12 S DJ Brown @DeeJayyy___ (1,839) @djbrown_12 (2,673)
13 LB Paul Moala @PaulMoala (2,072) @_paulmoala_ (2,052)
13 WR Lawrence Keys III @LawrenceKeys_ (3,261) @lkeysiii (4,614)
14 S Kyle Hamilton @kham316 (6,018) @kyledhamilton (17.400)
15 CB Ryan Barnes @Bo11Ryan (2,601) @ry.nextdoor (2,600)
16 WR Deion Colzie @almightydeion_ (3,869) @almightydeion_ (4,398)
16 S KJ Wallace @KJWALLACE16 (2,067) @_kwall (3,955)
17 Vyper Jordan Botelho @Jordanbotelho_ (2,393) @jordanbotelho_ (4,863)
17 QB Jack Coan @jcoan17 (4,151) @jackcoan17 (8,334)
18 DE Nana Osafo-Mensah @NaNaOsafo2 (5,217) @2k.nana (5,261)
18 WR Joe Wilkins Jr. @joewilkinsjrrr (2,413) @joewilkinsjr18 (6,081)
19 P Jay Bramblett @jbram_15 (1,592) @jbram15 (3,112)
19 DE Justin Ademilola @JustinAdemilola (3,743) @justinademilola (4,865)
20 RB C’Bo Flemister @c_borius (2,520) @cborius (5,930)
20 S Justin Walters @Justin_Walters2 (1,911) @jjjustin22 (4,216)
21 CB Caleb Offord @CalebOfford (315) @ceo.co (2,699)
21 WR Lorenzo Styles Jr. @LorenzoStyles_ (3,361) @lorenzostyles_ (3,153)
22 RB Logan Diggs @logandiggs3 (3,610) @_logandiggs (4,589)
23 S Litchfield Ajavon @litch_ajavon (1,775) @litch_23 (2,896)
23 RB Kyren Williams @Kyrenwilliams23 (8,036) @kyren.williams (27,600)
24 LB Jack Kiser @JBKiser4 (2,724) @jbkiser4 (2,269)
25 RB Chris Tyree @chris_tyree4 (6,737) @__thejet (18,400)
25 CB Philip Riley @Riley18Philip (2,850) @philiprileyjr (2,558)
26 RB Leo Albano @LAlbano17 (266) @leoalbanooo (504)
26 CB Clarence Lewis  @lewisclarence11 (1,093) @clarencelewis_ (4,589)
27 QB Chase Ketterer @ChaseKetterer5 (630) @chase_kett5 (2,321)
27 LB JD Bertrand @JDBertrand1 (3,857)  @jdbertrand1 (3,207)
28 WR Griffin Eifert @griffineifert (626) @griffineifert (2,361)
28 CB TaRiq Bracy @BracyTariq (1,564) @riq28_ (2,996)
29 S Khari Gee @KhariGee (2,878) @kash_khari (7,379)
29 WR Matt Salerno  @Matthews0520 (1,210) @sal3rno (1,234)
30 S Chris Velotta @skippy_v123 (630) @skippyv123 (2,108)
32 LB Prince Kollie @p_kollie_21 (3,029) @pk__2_1__ (1,558)
33 LB Shayne Simon @SimonShayne (2,786) @shayne.simon (3,429)
34 Vyper Osita Ekwonu @Osita_Ekwonu59 (1,437) @osita.ekwonu (2,290)
35 LB Marist Liufau @marist_09 (1,733) @marist_09 (3,301)
36 S Eddie Scheidler @eddie_scheidler (215) @eddie_scheidler12 (2,025)
37 S Chase Love None @_chaseeeee (2,001)
37 WR Henry Cook @henrycook__ (202) @henrycook__ (1,034)
39 K Jon Doerer @JDoerer_11 (1,999) @jdoerer (2,170)
40 LB Drew White @Drew_white11 (3,298) @drew.white (7,266)
41 DT Kurt Hinish @Truk_sauce (4,619) @skurt_hinish (5,206)
43 CB Marcus Thorne @marcusthorne31 (279) @marcusthorne3 (1,382)
43 WR Greg Mailey @GregMailey (857) @gregmailey (4,016)
44 LS Alex Peitsch @AlexPeitsch (839) @alexpeitsch (1,346)
46 LS Axel Raarup None @axraarup (2,326)
48 DE Will Schweitzer @WillSchweitzer2 (1,762) @willschweitzer48 (2,401)
50 OL Rocco Spindler @RoccoSpindler92 (5,547) @bigman_spindler92 (6,589)
52 LB Bo Bauer @____bb52 (3,416) @___bb52 (5,590)
52 OL Zeke Correll @zekecorrell (2,336) @zekecorrell (3,179)
53 OL Quinn Murphy @murphy_quinn53 (497) @qmurphy53 (2,320)
54 OL Blake Fisher @bfisher54_ (7,494) @bigfish_54 (8,421)
54 DL Jacob Lacey @JacobLacey6 (2,507) @jlacey.m (3,728)
55 OL Jarrett Patterson @jpattND (2,175) @jpatt___ (4,344)
56 OL John Dirksen @john_dirksen (0) None
56 DL Howard Cross III @HowardCrossIII (1,263) @howard_cross56 (2,073)
57 DL Jayson Ademilola @jaysonademilola (4,059) @jaysonademilola (5,368)
62 OL Brennan Wicks @BWicks_72 (291) @bwicks_72 (611)
64 OL Max Siegel II @Maxsiegel_ii (652) @maxsiegelii (1,952)
65 LS Michael Vinson @michaelvinson55 (783) @michael_vinson65 (1,607)
68 OL Michael Carmody @michaeltcarmody (1,874) @michaeltcarmody (2,701)
70 OL Hunter Spears @Thehunterspears (1,756) @_hunterspears (1,359)
72 OL Caleb Johnson @CalebJohnson72 (2,095) @caj352 (2,052)
73 OL Andre Kristofic @AKristofic21 (2,201) @akristofic21 (2,555)
75 OL Josh Lugg @jluggnut (3,724) @jluggnut (2,805)
77 OL Quinn Carroll @q_ocarroll (2,801) @qcarroll77 (2,923)
79 OL Tosh Baker @tdbakes (2,416) @toshbaker_ (3,104)
80 TE Cane Berrong @CaneBerrong (3,855) @cane.berrong (4,998)
82 WR Xavier Watts @xavierwatts6 (3,884) @xavier.watts (6,708)
83 TE Charlie Selna @CharlieSelna (174) @charlie_selna51 (738)
84 TE Kevin Bauman @kbauman3 (1,857) @kbauman18 (4,748)
85 TE George Takacs @georgetakacs9 (2,454) @georgehtakacs (1,436)
86 WR Conor Ratigan @cratigan26 (782) @conor.ratigan (2,321)
87 TE Michael Mayer @MMayer1001 (4,494) @michaelmayer10 (15,500)
88 TE Mitchell Evans @mitch88evans (1,381) @mitch88evans (1,829)
92 DL Aidan Keanaaina  @AidanAkfootball (2,064) @ikaika_keanaaina (2,777)
93 DL Zane Heemsoth @zaneheemsoth (352) @zaneheemsoth (704)
94 LB Giovanni Ghilotti @GiovanniGhilot2 (257) @gioghilotti (1,442)
95 DE Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa @myraaann (3,760) @myraaann (3,738)
97 DL Gabe Rubio @GabeRubio97 (4,039) @gaberubio97  (2,160)
98 DE Alexander Ehrensberger @Ehrensberger_ (1,841) @_ehrensberger_ (3,190)
98 K Harrison Leonard @hleonard858 (828) @harrison___leonard (1,771)
99 DL Rylie Mills  @ryliemillss (2,141) @ryliemills (2,885)
OL Joe Alt @JoeAlt7 (797) @jalt16 (944)
CB Chance Tucker @ChanceTucker7 (1,366) @1k.chancee (1,433)
RB Audric Estime @AudricEstime (4,085) @_audricestime_ (13,000)
WR Jayden Thomas @jgpt333 (3,471) @jayden1t (6,233)
LB Kahanu Kia @KahanuKia (1,061) None
OL Pat Coogan @coogs53 (2,318) @patcoogan_ (2,588)
CB JoJo Johnson @jojofootball1 (2,571) @jojo_johnson01 (1,976)
DL Jayson Onye @jason_onye (1,899) @jasononye_ (5,018)
K Joshua Bryan @Bryan9Joshua (1,061) @joshua_bryan9 (2,153)

** Players without a number are freshmen and unlisted on the Notre Dame roster.

 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.