The groundbreaking custom jersey announcement made to end the week is the kind of move that establishes LSU as a real threat in NIL. For the first time, athletes are set to make money based on custom jersey sales, a deal nearly the entire 2022 roster has signed up for.
But Friday’s decision isn’t just the culmination of weeks of hard work by local business leaders and those in the LSU athletic department. This is also just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot of positive momentum gaining within the LSU athletic department as well as local business leaders on how to help these student-athletes.
There was a NILSU public event this week where business leaders, coaches and sports administration members all came together to talk about the future of name, image and likeness opportunities that can be capitalized. Men’s basketball coach Will Wade was just one of many coaches in attendance and wholeheartedly believes the Tigers are coming in very quickly to establish themselves as a force in the NIL game.
“I know LSU is moving forward, I know we have a great plan. We have people working around the clock and I think that will be very positive for our players and the student-athletes at LSU,” said Wade told reporters. of the Vanderbilt game.
There is no doubt about a heightened sense of urgency about the impact the NIL agreements will have when it comes to recruitment and the transfer portal. Getting into custom jersey partnerships early is extremely important to catch the eye of athletes. This opens a ton of other doors for athletes, including naming rights in video games, trading cards, and other custom merchandise.
Sophomore wide receiver Jack Bech is just one example of a football player beginning to branch out into the apparel world with his “Bech I’m From Louisiana” merchandise.
Other players like quarterback Myles Brennan have signed deals with local businesses like Walk-Ons, where he recently shot a commercial for the famous regional restaurant chain.
Seeing these types of ads and offers across a wide range of branding opportunities is extremely important for high school and other college athletes nationwide to truly promote what is commercially possible in Baton Rouge.
“We look forward to seeing our jerseys on the sidelines and in the stands inside Tiger Stadium next season, and we look forward to more co-branded products for our student-athletes across all sports,” said said athletic director Scott Woodward.
NIL is here to stay and LSU has been doing everything it can in recent weeks to be truly at the forefront of helping its athletes capitalize on this opportunity.
“I think there’s a platform here that doesn’t exist in other programs in terms of interest in this place,” baseball coach Jay Johnson said. “There’s an incredible platform to create value for yourself. You can create value for yourself while playing for LSU and so it’s exciting. I think it’s great that our players have this opportunity. It’s the new way and it will have a lot of impact for us.”