Adidas Prioritizes Equality While Building Impressive NIL Roster

Adidas has significantly impacted the name, image, and likeness arena by establishing one of the most prominent athlete networks, encompassing over 50,000 college athletes across various sports and divisions, including HBCUs and Power Five Conferences. The goal was to maximize equality amongst athletes, ensuring opportunities for all genders and backgrounds to become brand affiliates and partners with the sportswear company, commemorating 50 years of Title IX in 2022. This initiative and partnerships with iconic athletes like Billie Jean King and Candace Parker laid the foundation for Adidas’ ongoing commitment to making it possible for athletes of all backgrounds to capitalize on their image.

Golf 

Rose Zhang 

Stanford women’s golfer Rose Zhang was the first college athlete to sign with Adidas. Zhang had a previous history with Adidas, being part of their elite junior program. Stanford is a Nike-branded school, so she represented Adidas at non-Stanford events. She is arguably one of the more decorated golfers, as a two-time individual NCAA champion and a two-time ANNIKA Award winner, given to the college’s best golfer. Zhang, Once she turned pro, signed a contract with Adidas.

Basketball 

Hailey Van Lith 

TCU women’s basketball guard Hailey Van Lith was the first women’s basketball player to enter an NIL partnership with Adidas. As part of this partnership, Van Lith will participate in global campaigns, and she headlined Adidas’ Exhibit Select shoe campaign, on which Adidas’ WNBA roster and focus groups contributed to designing a shoe tailored explicitly to female athletes. She also starred in the Adidas’ ‘You Got This’ campaign commercial that aired during March Madness. Van Lith consistently emphasizes Adidas’ ability to provide resources that will enable her to give back as part of their partnership. During her tenure at Louisville, Van Lith donated $30,000 through her collaboration with Adidas to the Family Scholar House, an organization supporting youth educational advancement. She also provided hundreds of tablets, clothing, shoes, and basketballs. 

Janiah Barker 

Following Van Lith, Janiah Barker became the second women’s college basketball player to be added to the Adidas NIL roster this year.  Barker will headline different Adidas marketing campaigns, further strengthening Three Stripe’s reputation for supporting equity and women’s sports. Last season, she led Texas A&M in scoring as a freshman and played a pivotal role in the Aggies’ SEC tournament run. Having recently transferred to UCLA, she is poised to support the Adidas brand off the court through various campaign initiatives.

Soccer 

Mia Bhuta

Stanford University sophomore soccer player Mia Bhuta has signed with Adidas and was featured in the brand’s back-to-school advertising campaign. Bhuta was the first Indian-American selected to be a part of the USA national team at the World Cup at any level. She received  All-Pac-12 freshman team honors and was named to the College Soccer News All-Freshmen first team.

Maddy Anderson

Mississippi State Goalkeeper Maddy Anderson is one of the 15 women college athletes who participated in Adidas’ NIL campaign to commemorate the 50th  anniversary of Title IX. Through strategic brand marketing efforts, Anderson will join Adidas marketing campaigns featuring the newest sports gear. Last year, she had 11 shutouts, the most in the season. Additionally, she holds Mississippi State records for career shutouts (25), goalkeeper wins (32), and starts at goalkeeper (66).

Emily Mason

Emily Mason was a key player in leading the Rutgers Scarlett Knights to their first conference title. She was also selected for the United States Youth National Team U20 World Cup roster. Adidas will represent the three stripes on the field and promote Adidas’ newest sports apparel and footwear through dynamic brand campaigns. Further, Mason received the prestigious Werblin Award for national athletic excellence and will undoubtedly be a valuable asset to the Scarlett Knights this upcoming season.

Jaiden Thomas

NC State women’s soccer midfielder Jaiden Thomas, who missed the 2023 season, significantly contributed to her team in 2022, starting 19 matches and participating in all 20. Off the field, she aligns with Adidas’ mission of equality through her involvement with Pack United, a student-led organization empowering NC State student-athletes and staff to foster change in their community. She scored one goal on the field and achieved a career-high four assists and six points. She also played a crucial role in the midfield, contributing to the team’s four shutouts. Thomas will look to make a return to the team for the 2024 season.

Basketball 

Overtime Elite 

Adidas has signed three top OTE athletes, Ian Jackson, Karter Knox, Mikel Brown Jr., and Adam Oumiddoch, to NIL partnerships. Under the partnership, each player will represent the Adidas brand as an ambassador. Additionally, they will participate in product testing, tours of Adidas headquarters, mentorship programs, and NIL preparedness training. Adidas and OTE are a multi-year partnership’s official footwear and apparel sponsors. OTE players will gain exposure and access to help expand their portfolios in NIL.

Skyy Clark

Sky Clark, the latest addition to the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball program, signed an NIL deal with Adidas during his tenure at the University of Louisville. Clark’s agreement with Adidas involved a shoe deal; he recently signed an NIL deal with NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins and Co-founded company NILLY, an NIL investment platform. Clark is expected to play a big role for UCLA this season.

Mar 12, 2024; Louisville Cardinals guard Skyy Clark (55) shoots the ball over North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Breon Pass (10) in the first half at Capital One Arena. Photo courtesy: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports via Imagn

Hansel Emmanuel

Austin Peay guard Hansel Emmanuel also signed a NIL partnership deal with Adidas. Emmanuel is a one-armed college basketball player who aspires to make the NBA. Despite an incident that forced him to have his arm amputated, his perseverance in playing basketball is a direct embodiment of Adidas’ ‘Impossible is Nothing’ moniker.  His highlights have gained a tremendous amount of acclaim. Further, the relationship between Adidas and Emmanuel started when he was on the AAU circuit. He has other notable partnerships with Gatorade, T-Mobile, and ZOA Energy. 

Darryn Peterson 

High school prep basketball phenom Darryn Peterson was the first prep basketball player to enter into an NIL agreement with Adidas. According to 247Sports, Peterson is a top-three high school basketball prospect in the 2025 class. Although the contract terms have yet to be released, Addidas continues to influence the next generation of basketball players destined to make an impact on and off the court. 

Football 

Jalon Daniels

University of Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels became an NIL ambassador with Adidas during the 2023 college football season. Since Kansas is an Adidas-sponsored school, Daniels will represent Adidas on and off the field. Further, Daniels was featured in different Adidas football-sponsored marketing campaigns via social media. He has additional NIL partnerships with brands such as Wendy’s, Applebee’s, and Pepsi. 

OT7 

To align themselves with the burgeoning talent in high school football, Adidas has launched its inaugural Adizero 7 NIL football roster in collaboration with Overtime 7v7, selecting seven top high school football players to be NIL ambassadors for the Three Stripes. The seven players include Tyler Atkinson, Kayden Dixon-Wyatt, Madden Iamaleava, Vernell Brown III, Madden Williams, Chris Henry Jr., and Winston Watkins Jr. Further, the players will enforce the brand in their 7v7 games during their high school football season and through 2025. The Adizero 7 will headline different Adidas football photoshoots and brand campaigns. 

Track & Field 

Brianna Lyston 

LSU track and field superstar Brianna Lyston entered into an NIL partnership with Adidas this year. Lyston’s NIL partnership will redefine Adidas’s future influence in track and field. In her most recent event at the NCAA Indoor Championships, she secured the 60-meter title, setting an LSU record with a blazing time of 7.03 seconds. Having achieved this feat, she now ranks as the second-fastest collegiate sprinter in history.

Michaela Rose 

Rose joins her fellow LSU Track & Field teammate Lyston on Adidas’ NIL roster. In the Corky Classic hosted by Texas Tech, Rose set the collegiate record at 1:16.76 in the day’s first heat. She set the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center’s 600-yard record for the second year.

Moriah Oliveira 

University of Miami sprinter Moriah Oliveira was selected as a sophomore to be a part of Adidas’ 50th Anniversary Title IX NIL roster. Oliveira had a remarkable season last year at the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, winning the 400-meter preliminaries in 52.24 seconds and anchoring the 4×400-meter relay final with a stellar time of 3:28.29. She won the Rod McCravvy Memorial in January in the 400m dash with a time of 53.96 seconds.

Jun 23, 2022; Moriah Oliveira (left), Allyson Felix (center), and Kennedy Simon run in a women’s 400m heat during the USA Championships at Hayward Field, Eugene. Photo courtesy: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports via Imagn

Tennis 

Gianna Pielet  

A deal with Adidas gave North Texas tennis standout Gianna Pielet a springboard into NIL. Pielet signed with Adidas during her tenure at Texas A&M. Further, she has amassed an impressive 24-9 record in dual singles matches. Throughout her first three seasons with the Aggies, she compiled an impressive overall singles record of 40-19. 

Softball

Brianna Copeland

University of Indiana softball pitcher Brianna Copeland had an impressive season at Indiana; she had a 3.02 ERA and an outstanding 22-4 record on the mound, pitching 171.1 innings with 148 strikeouts, six complete games, and three saves. Copeland also threw her first no-hitter against Prairie View A&M, throwing a career-high ten strikeouts. Furthermore, Copeland has expanded her NIL presence, partnering with The Indiana NIL Store to produce her Broken Bat Crew-inspired merchandise. Ultimately, she will expand her presence in the apparel space, complementing the branding she is doing for Adidas.

Kinsey Fiedler

University of Washington softball infielder Kinsey Fielder was one of the fifteen female college athletes selected by Adidas to be a part of their 50th anniversary of Title IX NIL roster. Last season, as a sophomore, Fielder posted a .277 batting average with five doubles, a triple, five home runs, and 18 RBIs while successfully stealing nine out of 14 bases. Off the field, Fielder has built a robust social media presence. She has over 10,000 followers on TikTok. Being at an Adidas-based school and an Adidas NIL athlete allows her to showcase the brand via social media.

Author

  • Darian Kelly

    Darian is a Sports Industry Management graduate of Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. Darian hosts The Jersey Podcast and is a sports documentary fanatic who loves to talk professional and college football and basketball.

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