What’s in a name? Maybe millions. Boardroom plays matchmaker to find the perfect brand partner for USC NIL athletes hoping to become the next Kool-Aid McKinstry.
College athletics’ name, image, and likeness era was built for Hollywood, and there is no football program more synonymous with Tinseltown than the USC Trojans. Since the days of Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart (who would have easily made millions via NIL) and through the success, drama, and rebuilding thereafter, Southern Cal consistently finds itself in the media spotlight in a way that transcends wins and losses.
Now, with a revamped roster via the transfer portal, a new head coach in Lincoln Riley, and two third-party NIL collectives (BLVD and Student Body Right), the Trojans this season are primed for success on the field and at the endorsement negotiating table.
While star transfers Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison have dominated the paid partnership game since moving to Los Angeles, there are plenty of other Trojans who could earn big-time dollars by simply leveraging their names alone.
While it’s tough to compete with the likes of Alabama cornerback Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry’s deal with Kool-Aid or Nebraska receiver Decoldest Crawford’s commercial with an air conditioning company, Boardroom is fully prepared to play matchmaker and propose five USC NIL deals that actually make too much sense.
USC Football NIL Deals We Want to See
P Aadyn Sleep-Dalton + Ecosa Mattress
- Class: Junior
- Hometown: Geelong, Australia
- Why we picked Ecosa: Sleep-Dalton just arrived in Los Angeles from down under so he must be dealing with major jet lag while competing for USC’s punting duties. A partnership with the Australian-based mattress company makes too much sense.
- Other brand(s) we recommend: Casper Mattress
DB Ceyair Wright + Sea Air Federal Credit Union
- Class: Redshirt Freshman
- Hometown: Los Angeles, California
- Why we picked Sea Air Federal Credit Union: Pronounced “sea air,” Ceyair Wright is also known as LeBron James’ son in Space Jam: A New Legacy, so a celebrity partnership for the Southern California-based Sea Air Federal Credit Union is a nice way to shine light on the financial institution providing affordable services to the active and retired military, working or living on the Seal Beach, Calif., base.
- Other brand(s) we recommend: Wright Brand Bacon
WR Brandon Outlaw + Outlaw Soaps
- Class: Redshirt Senior
- Hometown: Moorestown, New Jersey
- Why we picked Outlaw Soaps: As a graduate transfer from Virginia (and former Cavaliers sprinter), moving to Los Angeles was probably a culture shock, so why not partner with the brand that creates “scents of the American West?” With a current record heatwave ongoing in Southern California, it wouldn’t be a tough sell to want to smell like Campfire, Leather, Whiskey & Adventure with Outlaw Soaps.
- Other brand(s) we recommend: Outlaw Safe Company
DB Mekhi Blackmon + Jordan Brand
- Class: Redshirt Senior
- Hometown: East Palo Alto, California
- Why we picked Jordan Brand: Easily the next chapter in Jordan Brand’s iconic Mars Blackmon campaign, expanding from the basketball court to the football field. It’s gotta be the cleats!
- Other brand(s) we recommend: Third Reel Films, Mekhi Phifer’s production company
WR Kyle Ford / OL Courtland Ford + Ford Motor Company
- Class: Redshirt Junior / Redshirt Sophomore
- Hometown: Corona, California / Cedar Hill, Texas
- Why we picked Ford: Although USC’s NIL collective BLVD partnered with the top Mercedes dealership in the nation to provide new rides for the Trojans this year, Ford and Ford (no relation) have the opportunity to break the mold with an easy car deal of their own.
- Other brand(s) we recommend: CarMax