Roundtable: Which NIL deals would be a good fit for UConn basketball players?

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After Wednesday’s announcement that UConn women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers inked a massive endorsement deal with online footwear and apparel marketplace StockX, the sports writers got to thinking: what NIL deals would work well for other Huskies? Bueckers, a sneakerhead, is a perfect fit for StockX, but what about everyone else? While it’s likely that all of these imaginary deals will not result in anything, the Daily Campus tries to match the rest of our Storrs stars up with products and brands that best match their personalities. Without further ado, here are our writers’ picks: 

Jonathan Synott 

jonathan.synott@uconn.edu 
he/him/his 
Associate Sports Editor 
Matt Garry – Kalmbach Goat Feed 

Were you expecting anything else? There’s a reason the student section has chanted “We want Garry” each of the Huskies’ first two games — he’s the greatest of all time, aka the GOAT. What better way to advertise some goat food than get the actual GOAT to endorse it? The former Daily Campus Sports writer has been tearing it up this season, averaging two minutes a game with an assist and rebound to his name. Due to goats’ infamous ability to eat almost anything, there is not a big market for goat feed. This writer sees that fact as an opportunity for expansion, spreading awareness that feed tailored to goats is a product, perhaps through a series of commercials or a few posts to his 2,000 Instagram followers. Let’s get this done. 

Evan Rodriguez  

evan.2.rodriguez@uconn.edu 
he/him/his  
Staff Writer 
Isaiah Whaley – Lowe’s 

He’s the wrench. Why not embrace that nickname a bit more? There couldn’t be a better fit for the UConn big man. With a nickname like that, it’s a match made in heaven. Just imagine walking into the infamous hardware chain to pick up some tools or other supplies when you see “The Wrench” eager to help you. I don’t know about anyone else, but that would certainly be cool and pretty hilarious to watch for me. Lowe’s has done collaborations with sports like the NFL, so a collaboration with the college hoops forward is certainly possible as well. Another fun fact is that the headquarters of Lowe’s is just a 45 minute drive from Whaley’s hometown of Gastonia, North Carolina. I would absolutely love to see this in action and I’m certain a deal could get done. It’s such a good idea that I would even pitch the idea to Lowe’s executives myself! 

Stratton Stave 

he/him/his 
Campus Correspondent 
stratton.stave@uconn.edu 
Akok Akok-Food Network 

UConn junior forward Akok Akok (pronounced uh-COOK) would be perfect for Food Network, as they look to broaden their audience to the sports world. With the phonetic spelling of his name literally being the profession that Food Network focuses their content on, Akok Akok would fit right in. As the channel initiated this relationship, they could start out by bringing Akok in as a cameo to certain shows to garner interest from college basketball fans. What fan wouldn’t tune in for Akok’s appearance on “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives?” Once he proved he could produce high-level viewership, why not give the stretch-four his own show? Akok-ing with Akok? I’m not sure what level of chef he is, but it would be pure comedy and entertainment to see Akok produce gourmet dishes with the help of a weekly guest. If you work at Food Network and you are seeing this, please make this happen. I’m practically begging!  

Cole Stefan 

cole.stefan@uconn.edu 
he/him/his 
Staff Writer 
Adama Sanogo – Sunoco 

Too often I have been on Twitter and discovered that Adama Sanogo’s name is getting mispronounced as Sunoco by broadcasters. That, in addition to Twitter autocorrecting his name to Adams, is throwing UConn Twitter into a craze. So why not have Sunoco sponsor this man? Sure, you barely ever see athletes outside of NASCAR sponsoring gas, but imagine how much credibility Sunoco would get by sponsoring a future first-round pick? Imagine you’re watching NASCAR or any other sport on Fox and you just see a Sunoco ad  with Sanogo in it. Would that not be enough to get you to get their gas? It would be a fun sight to see and the opposition would have no choice but to limit him, or he will become a leaky faucet at a gas station and light the place on fire with his vicious dunks and incredible defense.

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