UGA enters its season opener against Clemson with a quarterback who’s sharing more than just the football with his teammates.
University of Georgia quarterback JT Daniels is coming off a 4-0 record as a starter last year, but his goals this season are far greater. Prevailing predictions have the signal-caller and his No. 5 Bulldogs winning the SEC East and competing for a spot in the College Football Playoff. With that comes some lucrative opportunities to leverage his name, image, and likeness in this brave new world of college athlete monetization.
But while the 21-year-old junior is definitely cashing in, his overall NIL strategy is ultimately similar to what he does with the football:
He’s spreading it around.
JT Daniels’ NIL Portfolio
Since the NIL floodgates opened all around the NCAA on July 1, players and teams already needing to focus fully on the upcoming season were suddenly forced to deal with a whole new set of distractions.
That focus did not stop marketable figures like Daniels at high-profile programs from forging some intriguing partnerships. His most recent deal is with Rhoback, an apparel company based in Charlottesville, Virginia — and plans to supply his teammates with polo shirts as part of the relationship.
“It’s exciting to be one of the first student-athletes to partner with one of the fastest-growing activewear brands in the country,” Daniels said in an official statement, “and I cannot wait to show the Georgia community some of the content we have already created before the season!”
Daniels’ other deals include serving as a brand ambassador for beloved fast casual chicken chain Zaxby’s. Naturally, he’s sharing the southern-fried goodness with his friends and teammates — as well as joining with the company to donate meals through Extra Special People (ESP), a Georgia-based non-profit that supports and empowers young people with disabilities.
“To me, Zaxby’s provides something I already enjoy, plus I can share it with my friends and bring meals to ESP, an organization we both have already supported,” he said. “This is the type of brand partner I am excited to have.”
If he leads the Dawgs to a famous win against Clemson on Saturday to open the 2021 campaign, millionaire status only draws closer.
The State of the JT Daniels Brand
- Instagram followers: 67,500
- Twitter followers: 27,800
- Named “Most Important Player in College Football” by Sports Illustrated
- NIL Agency: Everett Sports Marketing
- Key endorsement deals: Zaxby’s, Rhoback
- Available for speaking engagements
The full story of Daniels’ trading card deal continues to develop. For now, The Action Network’s Darren Rovell notes that the QB’s contract will land him $100 a pop for his signature.
And it could be worth millions over the course of its lifespan.
Ahead of Georgia’s opening week matchup against Clemson, Daniels is naturally focused on the season and getting the Dawgs back into the SEC Championship Game and the College Football Playoff conversation. But as his star power increases, keep an eye on the USC transfer to keep setting the pace as college athletics’ most generous NIL star.
Because at this rate, there’s going to be a lot more wealth to share in the coming months and years.