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Reilyn Turner: Nike’s First NIL Athlete

The shoe company has its first student-athlete sponsorship, signing UCLA’s Reilyn Turner to an NIL deal.

Nike announced its first-ever student-athlete sponsorship on Tuesday, signing UCLA sophomore women’s soccer star Reilyn Turner to an NIL deal. The deal, the company said, signals its commitment to supporting female athletes through meaningful partnerships at every stage of their careers.

The deal with Turner, and future Nike NIL signings, will include an element that connects the athlete back to their community. That begins with Turner, who will focus on working with nonprofit partners in the Los Angeles area that help create an active and equitable future for youth.  

“I’m so excited to be a part of what Nike is bringing to the future of women’s sport,” Turner said. “For me, community is about the people you surround yourself with. Whether it’s the community you grow up with, or the community you grow into, I think there’s so much positive impact that can come from how they influence you and how you influence them.”

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Turner finished second on the Bruins with 10 goals scored this season, including a September hat trick against Loyola Marymount. She led UCLA, which entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 overall seed this year, in shots on goal with 31. After earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors in 2020, the Aliso Viejo, Calif. native was second team all-Pac-12 this season. She named Serena Williams, Michael Jordan and Jackie Robinson as people who paved the way for her success, using their platforms to create change beyond their individual sports.

“What keeps me humble is knowing that I’m playing for something bigger than myself. It’s not about me. It’s about my team. My family. My community,” Turner said. “Off the field, I’m proudest of the person that I’ve become. I hope to be a role model for those around me and those after me. I want to inspire little girls and little boys to pursue their dreams, too.”

About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.