Beats by Dre (Beats) is the latest company to tap into the wave of college athletes who are now able to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
The move by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to allow student-athletes to gain profit and exposure thanks to the new NIL rule may have been the best thing to happen to both companies and athletes since sliced bread!
In an announcement on Wednesday, Beats announced that Jackson State University quarterback Shedeur Sanders has been tapped as the brand’s latest ambassador. Not only is he the first college athlete to hop on the Beats’ talent roster, but he is also the company’s youngest ambassador at just 19-years-old.
Sanders first made headlines when he followed in the footsteps of his father when he decided that he would attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) over the many high-profile schools who had the young athlete on their radar for quite some time.
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His father, Deion Sanders — now known to the world as Coach Prime –made a similar decision when he announced that he would be the new head coach for the Jackson State University Jaguars.
Now, Sanders continues to make a name for himself noting that the partnership with Beats is a full-circle moment for him.
“I remember getting my first pair of Beats, so this feels full circle,” Shedeur said in an official statement shared with AfroTech. “I’m excited to be part of a brand that inspires and represents the culture in a positive way, and that’s exactly what I want to do with my career.”
The Beats team expressed similar sentiments. This new partnership reiterates the company’s commitment to incorporating activism through its advertising.
“Shedeur exemplifies the power of forging your own path and shows us that talent doesn’t equate to a school choice,” said Chris Thorne, CMO of Beats, on partnering with an HBCU athlete versus the Southeastern Conference. “Beats has always championed those who have the courage to defy the odds, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him on our team.”
He now joins the ranks of athletes like Master P’s son, Hercy Miller who inked a $2 million deal thanks to the new NIL rule.