While some athletes wait until further down the line to begin tapping into other avenues, this one is wasting no time.
USC quarterback Caleb Williams is believed to be the first college athlete to invest in a company in the NIL era, Boardroom reports.
According to the outlet, it’s “believed to be the first investment in an existing company by a college athlete in the NIL era.”
Earlier this year, the University of Southern California quarterback put his dollars toward the male grooming brand Faculty, placing him as a part-owner in the company.
On top of having partial ownership in the company, Williams will also be included in campaigns, collaborations, and revenue partnerships, WWD reports.
Additionally, this also lands Williams another first as he scored a name, image, and likeness (NIL) partnership in the men’s grooming, skincare, and personal care sector.
“Williams investing in Faculty shows the breadth of possibility for college athletes through their NIL,” sports lawyer and associate professor at Pepperdine University Alicia Jessop said, according to Boardroom. “The deal is an example of a college athlete using endorsement and investment opportunities to not only build his brand but take control of his financial future.”
Faculty sparked the interest of the USC player, who has a reputation because of his grooming practices, which include nail art inspired by rappers such as A$AP Rocky and Lil Yachty.
“You know, some people love it, some people hate it,” Williams said, according to WWD. “Either way I don’t really care. I never have been one to care much about what people have to say or think about me. I just kind of do as I feel and if people like it great, if they don’t, whatever. I feel like everyone should express themselves however they chose. If me painting my nails playing football helps some people feel more confident in expressing themselves then great.”
Williams is setting quite the example in the NIL arena, diving into areas he’s already passionate about or a company that will likely be an investment into his future.
He’s reportedly raked in thousands of dollars, thanks to deals that include Fanatics Collectibles, AC+ION Water, and Beats By Dre.
Williams is clearly leveraging the opportunities he’s receiving while playing sports and creating steps that may very well set him up for life.
We see this with the NIL deal he landed shortly after his investment with Faculty through Hawkins Way Capital, a Beverly Hills-based real estate private equity fund.
Williams made his foray into real estate and could potentially receive additional investment opportunities in the future, according to the Los Angeles Times report.
“NIL is a chance to really explore my different interests off the field while building my personal brand the right way,” Williams told Boardroom. “Everything I’ve done so far in NIL has been focused on being authentic to my own personality and story. I’m not shying away from being different, and hopefully, that helps other athletes reimagine what they can do in this space.”
Williams also invested and partnered with Futuremood for a limited-edition line of sunglasses back in August, shining a light on the diverse pathways athletes can do to not only rake in dollars but also work toward creating generational wealth.
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