Crossover Culture Teams Signs Five Basketball Players In First NIL Campaign

Last Updated on March 29, 2024

Crossover Culture, an emerging basketball shoe brand, has signed five highly-touted collegiate and high school players to name, image, and likeness deals. The brand’s inaugural class of signees includes Rob Dillingham, a standout freshman at the University of Kentucky, Jordan Burks, a forward for Kentucky, Johnuel “Boogie” Fland, a Kentucky signee from New York, Jacy Sheldon, a star senior at Ohio State, and Trey Parker, a member of Overtime Elite.

Crossover Culture will work closely with each athlete in this partnership to create original content highlighting their individual stories and connection to the brand. Alongside this, the athletes will participate in an exclusive sneaker release scheduled for April 1 in collaboration with Dicks Sporting Goods. Crossover Culture plans to showcase these athletes in promotional campaigns and events to increase brand recognition. This collaboration aims to strengthen Crossover’s presence in the basketball landscape.

“The athletes we work with are all unique individuals with very distinct personalities. Part of the way we approach NIL relationships is to approach them with the mindset of co-creating content that reflects the individuality of each personality and highlights commonalities that they share with us as a brand”, said Ryan Duke, the brand’s founder. “We can tell stories that give fans an insight into who each player is as a person, which flows into fans getting to know more about what we’re building at Crossover Culture.”

The partnership stands out due to the athletes’ unwavering faith in its mission. With a grassroots following among basketball players and sneaker enthusiasts, the brand has gained attention for its distinctive and stylish sneaker designs, which prioritize comfort and durability.

Rob Dillingham, a projected lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, aligns with Crossover Culture’s mission.

“Crossover Culture’s products have a great feel,” Dillingham said. “I love the look of what they are doing and appreciate their fresh approach to working with athletes and the overall vision of what they are creating.”

Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Rob Dillingham (0) celebrates after a three-pointer during the second half against the Texas A&M Aggies at Bridgestone Arena. Photo courtesy: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports via Imagn

Sheldon, who averaged 17.8 points per game as a senior, expressed excitement about the partnership and reinforced the quality of Crossover Culture-inspired sneakers.

“It’s great to be a part of the first group of athletes partnering with Crossover Culture,” Sheldon said. “People will like the new drop, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. I’m not going to lie — the sneakers are awesome!”

The success of Crossover Culture’s first NIL campaign lays the groundwork for future collaboration and expansion.

“Crossover Culture is growing,” Duke said. “Part of the following steps is finding the right athlete partners- what we are doing is not for every player out there. Not every player has the nerve to take the game-winning shot and own the outcome of that responsibility. Not everyone can stand out, lead, or handle being first on something when everybody else is following a different path, and that is fine.

“For us, it’s about finding the right fit. Not everyone can handle what we are doing, so this process is really about getting to know players as people and finding the right long-term fits. In the meantime, we get to create some cool content, make fun stuff, and engage with new fans along the way.”

Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon drives during a game against Penn State. Photo courtesy: Clare Grant/The Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn

As the value of NIL expands, authenticity will always be a key driver of success. Crossover Culture seeks to build long-standing relationships with its athletes and has the same desire to shift the culture on and off the court.

“By its very nature, players that join with a new brand end up self-selecting as leaders, independent thinkers, unafraid of what’s new, and individuals with the mindset of 100% believing in themselves,” Duke said. “Those people are not easy to find — as we get to know each athlete more as we work together, I am sure some of these relationships will end up lasting a lifetime.

“The kind of people we look for at Crossover Culture are not only exceptional athletes but also people who look at the world differently, want to shift culture, want to make something new, and are unafraid in their approach to the game and life.”

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