University of Texas football coach Steve Sarkisian received a six-year deal worth $34.2 million when he was hired on Jan. 2, 2021. The school’s athletic department brings in over $200M per year. College sports is big business in Texas and across the nation, which is news to no one. What is noteworthy today is the inclusion of student-athletes in the lucrative paydays.
According to Austin Business Journal, Wrangler has launched a specially licensed line of collegiate apparel gear starting with the University of Texas — and has tapped a number of Longhorns student-athletes to serve as product ambassadors.
To help promote the collection, the company signed Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals with Longhorn athletes including quarterback Quinn Ewers and linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, baseball player Trey Faltine, swimmer Caspar Corbeau, softball players Lauren Burke and Mary Iakopo, and volleyball players Molly Phillips, Asjia O’Neal, and Madisen Skinner.
A 2021 U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for student-athletes to start earning money off their name, image, and likeness. Some estimates have said student-athletes earned $917 million in the first year, and that the industry will top $1 billion in year two.
In the first school year of NIL, 154 UT athletes secured more than $2 million across 418 deals. Football was the biggest source of NIL deals, with 94 deals worth $879,447.
“My first pair of jeans were Wranglers and I’ve been wearing them ever since,” said Quinn Ewers, quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. “I’m excited for the opportunity to be an ambassador for Wrangler‘s Collegiate Collection – I think fans are going to love these products.”