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Adidas announces a new network that will allow more than 50,000 student-athletes to be paid ambassadors

Adidas unveils a new network that will pay over 50,000 student-athletes

March 24, 2022: -Adidas announced Wednesday a new “name, image and likeness” network open to student-athletes at NCAA Division 1 Adidas-sponsored school.

The new program will permit above 50,000 students across 23 sports at 109 schools to become paid spokespeople for the brand.

“The Adidas NIL network embodies our belief that sport has the power to change lives by the upskill athletes and give them the ability to start to experience an entrepreneurial path that will carry them beyond their college years,” Jim Murphy, Adidas NCAA program lead, said.

The company says the program is launching in phases over the coming 12 months, starting with historically Black colleges and universities and Power Five conference partners this fall and then scaling across the different participating schools by April 2023.

Adidas did not disclose the way many student-athletes will be compensated if they participate in the program.

Student-athletes will initially be paid a percentage of the sales they drive at adidas.com or the Adidas app and the ability to be paid per social media post.

As of July 1, 2021, the NCAA dramatically shifted its economic model, allowing student-athletes to monetize the use of their name, image, and likeness for the first time in history. Brands are expected to spend almost $600 million on NIL deals in its initial year, according to a recent white paper by Front Office Sports and Opendorse. This firm provides the technology to the athlete endorsement industry.

Adidas’ announcement comes across the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which was passed by Congress in 1972 and signed into law by President Richard Nixon that states, “No person in the United States shall be based on sex, excluding from participation in, that is being denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity which receives Federal financial assistance.”

The company also said that its program advances its commitment to building inclusivity in sport.

“At Adidas, we are committed to creating change through sport and recognize the important role student-athletes play in shaping the future,” Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America, said.

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