It's a first-of-its-kind deal!
University of Miami quarterback D'Eriq King is making history as the first college athlete to sign an endorsement deal with a pro sports team, Yahoo! Sports reports.
King is well known in Florida and one of the most marketable athletes in the NCAA. Now that college athletes can profit off of their names, images, and likeness due to the NCAA's new NIL - which stands for name, image, likeness - ruling, King is cashing in. Recently, he signed a historic endorsement deal with The Florida Panthers, becoming the first college athlete to sign a contract with a pro sports team.
"The whole NIL thing, I think it's really good for college football," King said last month at ACC media days. "My thing was work with good companies. You can't work with everybody. You want to work with companies that align with your core values. You don't want to go out there and work with that company, that company, that company."
The deal is the first of its kind but not the first NIL contract for King, who has signed multiple NIL agreements since the July 1st ruling went into place. As a part of his contract with the Panthers, King will appear at select games and events, help market the Panthers brand on social media, and assist with developing merchandise.
D'Eriq King becomes the first college athlete to sign a NIL deal with a pro sports team.— Front Office Sports (@FOS) August 9, 2021
The Miami QB is the Florida Panthers' first 'FLA Athlete' ✍️
King will appear at Panthers games, develop merch & concession items, and collab on social media content. pic.twitter.com/xCgGVBUBWp
In December, he had to have surgery to repair a torn ACL. However, King is expected to have made a full recovery and will be in the BB&T Center for the Hurricanes season opener versus Alabama on September 4th.
"D'Eriq is a superstar both on and off the field and we are excited to reach and engage South Florida sports fans in new ways through this collaborative partnership," Panthers chief strategy officer Sam Doerr said.
He joins several athletes taking advantage of the new NIL ruling, including Tennessee State's Hercy Miller and Johnson C. Smith's Ky'Wuan Dukes. He made history as the first college athlete to sign an endorsement deal with the fast-food franchise Bojangles.
The Panthers are apparently looking to sign other college athletes for similar ambassador positions soon.
Photo Courtesy of Front Office Sports/Twitter