According to Insider, Rayquan Smith, a Virginia State University football player and former football and track and field athlete for Norfolk State University, has 86 NIL deals under his belt — with total value in the five figures.
Back in 2021, the student-athlete got a head start on taking advantage of the new NCAA NIL policy by cold-pitching 100 companies, the outlet notes. Out of the 100 emails sent, Smith received three responses including from Smart Cups, which gave him his first NIL deal.
Smith’s pitching template is as follows:
“What’s up my name is Rayquan Smith, I’m known as The King of NIL and I want to share my interest in your company/product. I am a running back and track sprinter at Virginia State University, I have over 136,000 social media followers from Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. I’m a great content creator and I want to help the young generation.”
With over 112,000 followers on TikTok alone (as of this writing), 20,000 on Instagram, and 4,500 on X (formerly Twitter), Smith has also leveraged posting content on his social media platforms to rake in partnerships.
“People say they want NIL deals but don’t post on social media,” Smith said, according to the outlet. “Well, to get NIL deals, you have to post. That’s really the simplest thing.”
As Smith is embarking on a graduate degree at Virginia State University, he has taken the time to push the message for student-athletes to get in on a piece of the NIL pie.
“Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t get NIL deals at a smaller school,” Smith expressed. “You could be on the bench and still get deals. It’s all about how you market yourself outside of sports.”
The outlet also shares that Smith is set to launch his own NIL marketplace in the fall of 2023 that caters to HBCU athletes and provides them with the resources to snag NIL deals.