A recent trend in the melting pot that is Atlanta is the new wave of so-called “certified non-food trademarks”. Previously, trademarked foods such as “K-cups” and “BBQ nachos” were not being granted trademark protection for their use in non-food products, but many local businesses have begun applying for trademark protection for their products in the form of NFTs, the acronym for “Non-Functional Trademark”.
If you’re like most Atlantans, you consider the city’s barbecue scene to be the best in the country. Every year there are new break-out stars and new restaurants. The city was the birthplace of the now-ubiquitous slab pig, and it’s not uncommon to see the meat anywhere from desserty to nuanced.
Every NCAA athlete in the country had the right to compete from 1. July the chance to earn their name, image and likeness.
This is a step forward in ensuring that players have all the rights they deserve, but it is certainly no substitute for compensating schools and conferences through revenue sharing.
Nevertheless, the opportunity for athletes to have a side income and make extra money is no small thing and this has been proven since the NIL rights were secured earlier this month.
Here are some of my favorites (this is not an exhaustive list of transactions) in the few weeks leading up to the NIL era.
Owens left at 1. Juli immediately sprang into action by attending a midnight signing ceremony at a New York hotel with 3 Kings Grooming (a black-owned hair care company), creating one of the first official contracts of the NIL era.
It seems only fitting that someone playing for Deion Sanders – a man who could have one day made a lot of money off his name, image and likeness – should be the first to step forward.
Four other Jackson State players have also signed contracts with the company.
Hayley and Hannah Kavinder don’t have to lose money all the time
Fresno State’s women’s basketball twins have 3.4 million followers on TikTok and more than 250,000 followers on Instagram and would otherwise have to wait to monetize their large social media presence.
But at 1. In July, they signed contracts with Boost Mobile and Six Star Pro Nutrition, a manufacturer of sports supplements.
On the TIME ZONE WHAT LIFE IS…. blessed❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZyA4Uim5zB
– Hannah Kavinder (@CavinderHanna) 1. July 2021
Cavinders proves that NIL rights are not just something that players in football and men’s basketball can earn. Visibility in sports is certainly important, but college athletes like the Kavinder twins have a different kind of visibility that is also valuable and, more importantly, they have the right to use it.
FSU QB McKenzie Milton and Miami QB D Eric King are co-founders of the NILplatform.
Milton and King are co-founders of Dreamfield, an NIL-based platform that focuses primarily on booking live events for student-athletes, including signings, meetings and performances. The company is also entering the non-volatile tokens (NFT) market.
The two quarterbacks will become the public faces of Dreamfield and encourage other athletes to use the platform. At the time of writing, the hourly rate for Milton and King is $2,000.
For comparison: Ole Miss QB Matt Corral is asking $10,000 and Johnston McIntyre (a senior with 10 career touchdowns) of Chapman University (a Division III school in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) is asking … $11,000.
McIntyre’s asking price is ridiculous for a number of reasons, but you’ll never hear me condemn his diligence. Closed mouths do not fill, and McIntyre’s appetite is clearly whetted. Take your money, man.
Master P Hersey Miller’s son reaches seven figures at.
Miller, who enrolled at Tennessee State to play basketball, should be on this list just because of the amount of money he will make. On 1. In July, Miller announced that he had signed a $2 million contract with Web Apps America – the largest contract the athlete has signed to date.
Hersey Miller, freshman at Tennessee State and son of Master Pi, signs on with Web Apps America….
… for $2 million
Miller becomes brand ambassador for a tech company that wants to support HBCU leaders pic.twitter.com/LRfDyZ27Yf
– Front Office Sports (@FOS) 2. July 2021
The 6th. In July, Frierson announced a collaboration with the Lomelo Meat Market, resulting in this sculpture (the third of its kind):
Looking forward to working with Miami’s best butcher, Lomelo’s Meat Market ‼️ @FirstRoundMgmt #wagyu #wagyubeef #butchershop https://t.co/XinCEG9A1A pic.twitter.com/m7H30H2Ot9
– GB3 (@_gbe2) 6. July 2021
Just as the great announcers know when to let an important moment in sport speak for itself, I will keep the image of him with the heel to myself rather than try to add to it.
Well, speaking of Miami…. speaking
You are returning (working to return)
Dan Lambert, owner of American Top Team and former fan of the Miami football team, has offered to pay every scholarship player on the Miami football team (90 in all) $500 a month this year to promote his gym on social media. The American Top Team is the training base for more than two dozen professional fighters.
According to Dan Murphy of ESPN, the deal could be as high as $540,000. And while you still may not have a bank account in college athletics, I appreciate the fans of the Miami football program trying to get as close as possible.
Lambert told Murphy: I want to help children. I want to reward them for what they do and I also want a better product on the field.
Keyvon Thibodeau joins forces with Nike founder Phil Knight for the NFT.
The potential first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft got one of the coolest and most eligible NIL deals, teaming up with Nike founder and Oregon alum Phil Knight.
The NFT design was developed by none other than Oregon graduate Tinker Hatfield, the legend who designed the Air Jordans 3 through 15.
I am happy to announce my first collaboration with two true pioneers: Phil Knight and Tinker Hatfield. (https://t.co/Cg5qsJF3Nd) pic.twitter.com/YhY88bHhmf
– kayvon thibodeaux (@kayvonT8) 6. July 2021
Mr Hatfield said the drawing was done entirely by hand on his iPad. It’s impressive, but not shocking, since he designed some of my favorites: the Air Jordans 3 and 4 in white cement. The creative genius of this man knows no bounds.
Arkansas WR Trey Knox and his dog join forces with PetSmart
Knox closed the most interesting deal in the early NIL era of college football with his dog Blue and PetSmart.
We have our first NCAA dogs case
Trey Knox and his Husky Blue have reached an agreement with PetSmart.
I’ve always been proud to be an Arkansas football player, but I’m just as proud to be a dog dad pic.twitter.com/lta1J6flae
– Front Office Sports (@FOS) 1. July 2021
The dogs are always treated well, Knox gets money and Blue gets treats. They’re all winners.
Marshall’s OL Will Ulmer III can finally do what normal students can do
Ulmer announced that he would be performing under his own name (previously he had used the pseudonym Lucky Bill) and offering his musical talents to promoters and anyone else who was interested.
Now that the NCAA has allowed it, I will be Will Ulmer this year! !! I am open to all locations and business opportunities!!! DM, if you’re interested, let’s make music pic.twitter.com/iniLdoz2ye
– Will Ulmer (@UlmerWill) 1. July 2021
Ulmer’s contract is a good example of the inconsistency that existed when college athletes did not have NIL rights. For example, music and art students, who like athletes can also receive scholarships, have always had the opportunity to make a living through their work.
It never made sense that athletes were the only ones who didn’t get the same opportunities, and besides, people like Ulmer don’t have to call themselves Lucky Bill now.
Pipe and grille lines
If offensive line units didn’t collectively negotiate with local barbecues, it’s safe to say that NIL rights for college athletes are a bad idea.
Fortunately, we don’t have to talk about it, because Hogs has partnered with Wright’s Barbecue in Johnson, Arkansas. Hashtags aren’t very useful on Twitter in 2021, but you can’t go wrong with #BodyByBBQ.
I am pleased to announce a sponsorship between Arkansas’ best barbecue, Wright’s Barbecue, and myself! Nobody knows quality barbecue like Olineman! #WrightsAthlete #BodyByBBQ @wrightsbarbecue
– Dalton Wagner (@DaltonWagner78) 6. July 2021
Mission BBQ, which has locations in 16 states, also has NIL agreements with the offensive lines of Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
Ohio OL Davand Jones is pushing candles
It’s not barbecue, but Jones is working with GoPuff, a delivery service for consumer goods and food. The object he bought as an example was a candle.
Mountain Berry always does its job #GoPuffpartner Gopuff delivers the goods in minutes! Get $25 when you sign up. https://t.co/Pwbd1GRbfY pic.twitter.com/kpsC6xFui6
– Davand Jones (@dawandj79) 1. July 2021
As fun as it is to watch the attackers push the grill, it’s even more fun to watch them push the candles.
We don’t know yet where the NIL era will take us, but it will be interesting to find out.
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