Last Updated on July 17, 2023
USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams is taking his passion for gaming to new heights, signing a NIL deal with Playstation’s Playmaker program.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner becomes the first collegiate player to join the initiative and announced the partnership via Instagram story. Williams received a PS5 and a PlayStation VR2 as part of the deal.
The PlayStation Playmaker program’s inaugural class features both professional athletes and content creators, including LeBron James, WNBA rookie standout NaLyssa Smith, NFL wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb, comedian King Bach and Brazilian content creator Julio Cocielo.
A Community of Playmakers
The PlayStation Playmaker program brings to the forefront the impact gaming has on building communities.
Eric Lempel, the SVP Head of Global Marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment, shed light on the influence of the Playmaker program.
“Our approach has always focused on partnerships with genuine PlayStation fans who love to share their passion with their friends, community and fellow gamers,” Lempel said. “We also wanted to assemble a group of talent who resonate globally and on a regional level while representing the diversity of our PlayStation community.”
Gaming is unique because it does not discriminate by race, age or sex. No physical requirement is needed to play compared to certain sports — anyone can game. However, what uniquely bonds professional athletes and gamers alike are shared experiences and the feeling you get from playing within your community.
Pass The Sticks
The gaming influence of Caleb Williams’ NIL portfolio is growing.
One of his first NIL deals was collaborating with fellow USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart to create an NFT platform called Hall of GOATs, which features arcade-style gameplay where you can play with a customized Caleb Williams avatar. Given that there are common synergies between NIL and gaming with community development, gaming is trending toward becoming a consistent theme behind deals as we transition into year three of NIL.