Amazon Begins NIL Initiative to Promote Officially Licensed Apparel
Amazon is breaking into the NIL space to promote their officially licensed collegiate merchandise and school marketplaces. They are using USC student-athletes as guinea pigs, incentivizing them with NIL deals to promote school gear. Mademark, a subsidiary of Amazon Fashion, is responsible for the apparel. As the NIL program expands, Amazon is set to push these types of deals out to a swath of other colleges.
The school-licensed apparel is already in place with Amazon’s “Campus Colors” line, which offers college gear for most of the major universities in the country. The plan is to add player-specific gear to this line in the future.
Early participants in the Amazon NIL program include USC defensive back Latrell McCutchin and track athlete Bailey Lear. They receive flat payments for posting content to social media, plus other potential royalties. Other student-athletes are waiting in the wings to be next up.
The new NIL initiative is a step by Amazon to challenge Fanatics in the sports apparel realm. Fanatics recently partnered with Alabama to open an NIL store on campus. Last year, they entered an exclusive trading card deal with Major League Baseball before acquiring Topps’ trading card and collectible division. Because of their wide reach and established distribution centers, it likely won’t take long before Amazon is making this a real rivalry.
Jeff Bezos was previously rumored to break into the sports space after reportedly being among suitors for the Los Angeles Chargers and Washington Commanders franchises. Amazon already secured exclusive rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts. Now they’re getting in on the NIL craze, and we can expect to see much more activity come football season.
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