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AT&T Steps into the NIL Ring with Tennessee Student-Athletes Deal

Three Lady Volunteer basketball players and Vols quarterback Herndon Hooker are teaming up to promote AT&T’s products.

Tamari Key is one of the Tennessee student-athletes involved in AT&T's new NIL deal. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire)

Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by John Riker

AT&T is partnering with five University of Tennessee Volunteers college athletes for an unprecedented name, image & likeness deal.

Three Lady Volunteer basketball players, Jordan Walker, Tamari Key and Sara Puckett and Volunteer quarterback Hendon Hooker round off the college athletes who will participate in this partnership. This NIL deal was brokered by The Volunteer Club powered by Spyre Sports and The Lady Vol Boost (Her).

“We are excited to create a new partnership with AT&T and the University of Tennessee student-athletes,” James Clawson, CEO of Volunteer Club, said. “This is a perfect opportunity to highlight AT&T’s ultra-fast fiber services through student-athletes at Tennessee.”

“The Tennessee Lady Vols and AT&T represent quality and respect, something we both are very proud of,” said Terri Holder, executive director of the Lady Vol Boost (Her) Club. “Our Lady Vols are ultrafast up and down the court – just like AT&T’s fiber internet This is what makes this NIL deal a great fit for the Lady Vol Boost Her Club and our female student-athletes.”

As a part of the NIL deal, the Tennessee athletes will attend AT&T fiber events and post about them on their social media accounts.

Think Big. Innovate and get there first. 

Think Big. Innovate and Get There First is one of AT&T’s slogans as a company, which is precisely what they are doing with this NIL deal.

This is the first NIL deal AT&T has been involved in a NIL deal as they continue to expand their footprint in college athletics. AT&T has sponsored different college football games, bowl games, and even the college football playoffs.

One of the aspects of this deal that stands out is the inclusiveness of this NIL deal – they could have easily exclusively picked Heisman hopeful Hendon Hooker, given his influence on college football. However, they decided to have three women’s basketball players as well. This speaks volumes about how The Volunteer Club and The Lady Vol Boost (Her) are in lockstep in ensuring their college athletes are supported and have the finest opportunities within the NIL landscape.

In the future 

Given that over 100,000 households and small businesses in Knoxville, Tennessee, utilize AT&T fiber, this partnership could have a major impact on their exposure and sales.

When we examine this move by AT&T in the greater context of the battle between cable and streaming, they have essentially planted their flag as a go-to platform to consume college sports. Ultimately I expect AT&T to build on this by engaging other college athletes in locations where AT&T fiber is prevalent to expand their footprint and advertise their services. 

Author

  • Darian Kelly

    Darian is an Interdisciplinary Studies Master's student at the University of North Texas. Darian is the host of The Jersey Podcast. He is highly passionate about sports content, technology, and innovation.

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