Adidas is betting on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football talent for the first time.
The sportswear giant has signed Washington Huskies teammates, quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and wide receiver Rome Odunze, as its first NIL football athletes, according to a press release. As new signees, the young stars are set to be featured in Adidas’ campaigns. Previously, fellow University of Washington athlete Kinsey Fiedler, a softball player, joined the roster last year.
“I couldn’t be happier to be teaming up with the adidas family, I’ve been in the three stripes my entire college career and their support has meant a lot to me,” said Penix Jr., who is a leading 2023 candidate for the Heisman Trophy, per ESPN. “I’m excited about this unique opportunity to help further the brand and I’m appreciative of their investment in my university, my teammates, and myself. adidas has shown that they’re committed to student-athletes across the country and I’m thankful to be a part of their commitment.”
Odunze added, “It’s an honor to be joining the adidas family as one of the brand’s first football NIL athletes. adidas is committed to empowering me to shape my brand and my future, and I’m looking forward to inspiring the next generation of athletes.”
The press release details that Adidas’ signing of Penix Jr. and Odunze reemphasizes the company’s commitment to backing today’s student-athletes and providing opportunities for more in the future.
“Michael and Rome are two of the most promising young athletes in the country right now, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to our impressive roster,” Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America, shared in a statement. “The U.S. has the most exciting collegiate fan and student-athlete base in the world, and we’re proud to be doubling down in sports here — including our investment in NIL and university partners to assert our position as the leading sports brand in the college sports space.”