Emerging Beauty and Cosmetics Brands Ink NIL Deals With Top College Athletes

The beauty and cosmetics sectors are far from just participants in the arena of name, image, and likeness for collegiate athletes. Here, athletes leverage their social media followings to create personalized communities. These platforms offer a glimpse into the athletes’ daily lives, showcasing the beauty brands they rely on. It’s not just about enhancing their looks but about finding products that become integral to their lifestyle and identity.

Parfait 

Raven Johnson, a women’s basketball player at the University of South Carolina, has made a significant stride in her branding by entering into an NIL partnership with Parfait, a black-owned beauty brand. This collaboration has led to the “Revenge Tour Wig,” a wig designed to stay secure during athletic activities, perfect for those seeking a stylish yet sporty look. The term “undefeated” on Parfait’s website symbolizes the wig’s reliability, a tribute to Raven and the Lady Gamecocks’ undefeated 2023-2024 national championship season.

Parfait CEO Isoken Igbinedion recently praised the profound influence of this agreement on female athletes. She told Andscape that this deal was “a new standard for how female athletes should be treated and how they can maintain and express their style without compromise.”

The two-time champion expressed tremendous gratitude for the partnership.

“I’m so grateful that beauty brands are partnering with women athletes … not just partnering with a beauty brand like Parfait but a brand that Black women own. That means a lot to me.”

Kaleidoscope Hair Products

In April, Talladega College gymnast Kyrstin Johnson made history by securing a victory in the vault event at the USA Gymnastics Nationals. It marked the first time a gymnast from an HBCU in Alabama obtained a national title. Johnson was the inaugural commit to Talladega’s Gymnastics program. Following her success at nationals, Johnson entered into a NIL agreement with Kaleidoscope Hair Products. The company was founded in 2014 by Jessica DuPart, a hairstylist based in New Orleans. The deal included a Twitter promotional campaign offering customers a 15% discount on hair products using Johnson’s unique code. 

Mielle Organics 

The Florida A&M cheerleading team signed a multiple-year agreement with haircare and beauty company Mielle Organics. The rattlers will participate in different marketing campaigns for the brand and have a chance to sample future products. This is not the first collegiate partnership Mielle has initiated a NIL partnership within the collegiate ranks. The brand collaborated with Howard University’s women’s swimming and diving team in 2023. The name of their Howard University sponsorship campaign is called “From One Queen to Another.”

The swim and dive team was gifted their Pomegranate & Honey Collection, featuring shampoos, bonnets, and other hair styling products. What is unique about these partnerships is that they also involve the coaches and athletic staff. With these successful partnerships with HBCUs, Mielle Organics has maintained its strong presence within NIL.

Hally Hair

Hally Hair, an emerging environmentally friendly hair color company, signed an NIL agreement with the Baylor University women’s basketball team. The company launched a signature hair color product called Shade Stix, which offered green and yellow versions to commemorate the Lady Bears’ signature colors. Multiple players sported the hair color in social media campaigns on TikTok and Instagram. 

Mar 9, 2024; Baylor Lady Bears players celebrate after a made basket against the Iowa State Cyclones during the second half at T-Mobile Center. Photo courtesy: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports via Imagn

Pattern Beauty & Bounce Curl 

Arizona State sophomore softball player Kylee Magee capitalized on a remarkable Women’s College World Series run by partnering with Pattern Beauty and Bounce Curl. As a part of the partnership, the pitching sensation performed tutorials on Instagram on styling her curly hair. Each tutorial featured products that she uses on and off the field. Magee made six appearances, four starts, on the mound this season before being sidelined with an injury. Her standout performances include three strikeouts in one inning against James Madison on March 1, three more in scoreless innings against Illinois State on February 16, and 11 strikeouts over seven innings without allowing a run against Northwestern.

As more beauty brands recognize these athletes’ unique influence, we should expect to see a continued expansion of such deals, further integrating sports, style, and personal branding in the beauty and cosmetics industry. This evolution marks a significant step towards a more inclusive and supportive environment for female athletes, ensuring they have the resources and platforms to succeed in and out of competition.

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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