UNCW athletes taking advantage of endorsement deals

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - College athletes now have the chance to profit from their name, image, and likeness after the NCAA began allowing endorsements on July 1, 2021.

“We at UNCW think it’s a tremendous opportunity for our student athletes,” said UNCW Athletic Director Jimmy Bass.

Some athletes at UNC Wilmington are already benefiting from this opportunity.

“It’s nice being able to get my name out there, not in these huge companies, but like little companies, just knowing my name, knowing what sport I play, what I do,” said UNCW Women’s Soccer player Hannah Arostegui. She just accepted her third offer from a local company, Tama Tea.

Tama Tea was created by a couple former UNCW athletes, so as soon as they heard about the NCAA’s decision, they knew they wanted to give back. The company will provide free tea, Tama Tea swag, some coupons and a little bit of cash when she promotes the product on social media.

Tama Tea has extended offers to all UNCW athletes. They only support the athletes during their season, but representatives from Tama Tea said they’re looking forward to where these endorsement and sponsorship deals can take student athletes in the business world.

Bass said only a handful of athletes have really jumped into the sponsorship game so far, but he anticipates more deals happening in the near future as the school year picks up.

He hopes athletes benefit in more than just financial ways. “It allows kids to get a real-life experience, what it’s like when they get their degree and their playing days are over and they’re learning to work with other people,” said Bass. He also added that the athletic department will “support any and all of our student athletes as they expand their financial horizons here in the future.”

Other athletes are thrilled about the NCAA’s decision to allow endorsements.

UNCW Women’s Soccer player Kara Mills said, “It’s exciting, it’s a new step in my journey and all other college athletes’ journeys, and it’s exciting that we can pair up with these companies and businesses to promote their business, as well as ourselves and our teams.”

“I’m super excited, I think it’s really important because so many athletes just have opportunities to profit off themselves and to not be able to access who they are and capitalize and profit off of it just really isn’t fair, so I’m glad they finally made the change,” said UNCW Women’s Basketball player Sallie Vick.

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