SWEEPING NETWORK FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES
Today, adidas will become the first major sports brand to enact a wide-sweeping, equitable and inclusive Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) network for student-athletes. Tied to this year’s 50th anniversary of Title IX, the new program will be laser focused on achieving an enduring goal from the brand: creating a more equitable future in sport.
A Sweeping, Equitable Network
With the ability to reach over 50,000 student-athletes across 23 sports and 109 Division 1 NCAA schools, the new NIL program will give eligible student-athletes of all genders the opportunity, directly with adidas, to become paid affiliate brand ambassadors. Launching in four phases over the next 12 months, the network will begin with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Power-5 conference partners in Fall 2022, scaling across all schools by April 2023.
“At adidas, we are committed to creating change through sport and recognize the important role student-athletes play in shaping the future,” said Rupert Campbell, president of adidas North America. “Our groundbreaking NIL program advances our commitments toward building inclusivity in sport and inspires athletes to realize a more equitable world. I can’t wait to see it come to life.”
“adidas’ NIL network is an incredible step forward for the growth of women’s sports,” adds Candace Parker, adidas partner. “It will have an impact on the future of college athletics and hopefully create a more equal, sustainable landscape where athletes feel supported and invested in as they grow in their college careers. It builds upon adidas’ and my shared ambition to empower the next generation of women in life and sport.”
At March Madness
At both women’s and men’s Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and National Championship games, fans will see ‘More Is Possible’ t-shirts worn by adidas teams during warm-ups. Featuring language from Title IX legislation, the shirts will serve as a powerful reminder to push the boundaries of possibility.
“It has been a long 50 years since the passage of Title IX – and we’ve fought and played for equality every step of the way,” added Billie Jean King, adidas partner. “The progress we have made is incredible, but it’s time to focus on the next 50 years – and I’m proud to be a longtime partner with adidas, who is helping to build the future of sport.”
Impossible is Nothing
adidas is committed to creating a culture of equity and fairness wherever sport is played. This initiative is only the latest chapter of the brand’s ongoing ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ campaign, which aims to grow accessibility, celebrate inclusivity, and create a more equitable future in sport where all feel welcomed, encouraged, and supported.
“The adidas NIL network embodies our belief that sport has the power to change lives by upskilling athletes and giving them the ability to begin to experience an entrepreneurial path that will carry them beyond their college years,” said Jim Murphy, adidas NCAA Program Lead. “This is not just a first-of-its kind program for the brand and industry, it goes much wider by unlocking opportunities in business and life that will enable them as student-athletes to maximize their NIL, opening the doors to future possibilities.”
The brand continues to invest in partnerships with organizations like Athlete Ally and the McLendon Foundation, as well as with notable athletes like Candace Parker and Billie Jean King to push the game forward.
Layshia Clarendon, Candace Parker, Trevor Lawrence, Alix Klineman, Ashley Sanchez, Donovan Mitchell, Nneka Ogwumike, Tua Tagovailoa, Linnea Strom, Bradley Chubb, Brianna Pinto, Alana Cook, Sis Bates, Sofia Huerta.
Candace Parker will also soon release a documentary, with adidas as a co-presenting sponsor, about the impact of Title IX on American sports entitled “Title IX: 37 Words That Changed America.” The documentary will premiere April 2 at 1:00pm EST on TBS during the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four weekend programming.
Join the conversation @adidas on Twitter and Instagram using #ImpossibleIsNothing
*Eligibility dependent on the NIL rules of the athlete’s school and location.1
Rod Washington: Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He also produces news and documentary video projects. Check out his podcast StoriesThisMoment at https://m3e.d71.myftpupload.com/stm-tncn-podcasts/