The apparel brand is now allowing March Madness stars of the past to monetize their college NIL rights.
This might be the first season in which college basketball players can benefit from their name, image, and likeness rights, but not every star of the past has missed out on the opportunity.
Apparel brand 19nine, which has partnerships with over 80 Division I universities, has launched a vintage NIL program to highlight past March Madness heroes. 19nine has licensed Getty Images photos of iconic March moments for use on t-shirts and sweatshirts, with the former college athletes able to benefit from sales.
Hakim Warrick (Syracuse) and Richard Hamilton (UConn) are the first two stars to sign on with 19nine for the initiative.
Warrick is best remembered for his game-sealing block for Syracuse in the final seconds of the 2003 championship game against Kansas. And before the world knew Hamilton as a mask-wearing NBA champion with the Detroit Pistons, he was the 1999 Final Four MOP for UConn as the Huskies beat Duke in one of the greatest title game upsets ever.
“Though NIL is long overdue, last year’s legislation was a step in the right direction,” Warrick said in a statement. “And for my peers who played college basketball before the recent rules were enacted, 19nine’s Vintage NIL program offers a fun and authentic way to monetize those incredible stories from yesteryear. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
In addition to working with Syracuse and UConn to license Warrick and Hamilton’s college gear, 19nine will feature products throughout the weekend using logos from previous men’s Final Fours in New Orleans — both the site of this year’s championship and of Syracuse’s famous triumph over Kansas.
“As fans of the game, we have always gravitated towards the personalities and player-driven narratives that make NCAA basketball so great,” 19nine CEO Aaron Loomer said in a release. “Our Vintage NIL collection allows us to enhance our storytelling with greater authenticity while also compensating the players that did not have the opportunity to profit off their likeness during their time on campus.”
Hamilton previewed his shirt on 19nine on Wednesday on Instagram, paired with the throwback UConn shorts that 19nine already sells.
Vintage NIL apparel is available for purchase on 19nine.com.