The Swoosh is investing in the next generation of basketball by inking five amateur athletes to NIL partnerships.
Nike Basketball’s future is shining a little brighter today. The sportswear giant announced on Monday that it has signed name, image, and likeness deals with Caitlin Clark, Bronny James, Haley Jones, DJ Wagner, and JuJu Watkins.
This starting 5 for Nike represents some of the biggest names in amateur basketball. LeBron James‘ and Dajuan Wagner’s sons lead the way, but come November, the women may make the most noise. Clark and Jones are both potential first-team preseason All-Americans and their schools, Iowa and Stanford, are real Final Four contenders. As for Watkins, if you don’t know her name yet, now’s a great time to change that. She’s the No. 2-ranked recruit in the class of 2023 and appears destined for the W.
For the Swoosh, this is more than just a quintet of great players, however. These are five who are capable of influencing culture on and off the court.
It’s no coincidence that all five signees currently play for Nike-sponsored schools — though James, Wagner, and Watkins are still in high school. Theoretically, this synergy allows them the opportunity to play in partner product on court while also promoting Swoosh styles on their social channels.
Nike is also teaming with each athlete to make an impact in their individual communities through philanthropy ranging from book drives to basketball clinics.
Already, Nike has sent its NIL class special packages filled with footwear and lifestyle apparel. How these partnerships play out on-court will provide new narratives at all levels for a company that eclipsed over $44B in revenue in 2021 alone.
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