Dunkin’ has become one of the latest companies to scout student-athletes for endorsement deals after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) updated its name, image and likeness (NIL) policy.
The company has debuted its starting roster including University of North Carolina’s Deja Kelly — a guard for the North Carolina Tar Heels — Bloomberg reports.
“I am so excited to announce that I am officially the captain of Team Dunkin’! I am a longtime Dunkin’ fan so this is truly a dream come true — stay tuned to see how Dunkin’ fuels me on and off the court,” Kelly wrote via Instagram.
Her new deal comes in after her signing with WME Sports in September 2021.
Alongside her is the University of Georgia’s Matthew Boling, who is a track and field champ. The two young star athletes are the beginning of Dunkin’s plans to continue building its roster throughout the year.
The Endorsement Deal
Dunkin’ signees will “promote the coffee and doughnut brand on social channels and have their own co-branded meals in their college towns,” according to the outlet.
Deja Kelly's Path To Basketball Stardom
Before first stepping onto her university’s basketball court, Kelly’s high school journey led her to become a top-ten recruit and “one of the best high school players in the country,” according to Just Women’s Sports. Her decision to sign with UNC among many other offers came down to wanting to go where she could really make a long-lasting mark.
“Growing up, I saw a lot of other top recruits pick a school just for their name or for what they would do for their image,” she told the outlet. “With me, I was really strategic in my recruiting process, and I wanted to go to a school where I could build my own name, I could build the program up, I could set my own legacy at the school eventually and win some championships of my own, instead of going to a school that was already established.”