Hollywood Taps Into Student Athletes at Scale for Movie Promotion

Last Updated on April 17, 2023

Headlines are often dominated by NIL deals offered to individual student athletes, but NIL agency Postgame is taking a different approach and offering athletes to companies at scale in order to promote things like Hollywood movie releases.

In March, more than 1,000 college and high school student athletes shared content promoting Woody Harrelson’s latest comedy, Champions, as part of a sponsored NIL deal. The campaign included five screenings for athletes through a partnership with Hollywood production company Focus Features.

“The Champions event offered a unique opportunity for student athletes to participate in promoting a major Hollywood film,” said Postgame’s director of athlete relations, Aaron Hackett. “For many of these athletes, this was their first NIL opportunity. Postgame was able to coordinate five different movie screenings across the country with over 150 attendees. Postgame helped student athletes capture professional drone videography to help boost their personal brands.”

It’s one of the largest NIL campaign so far in terms of the more than 1,000 athletes involved who generated nearly 2 million impressions. Postgame says Instagram reels produced the best engagement.

Athletes who saw the best results (as of March 20) included:

Hercy Miller, Louisville MBB, 143K followers

  • 2,400 likes, 59 comments, 39k views

Cam’ron Fletcher, FSU MBB, 13ok followers

  • 2,399 likes, 19 comments, 27,200 views

Ariana Gonzalez, USCB T&F, 137k followers

  • 2,654 likes , 42 comments, 33,000 views

Mercy Miller, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame MBB (HS) 128k followers

  • 3,000 likes, 40 comments, 46k views

Kasey Kidwell, APSU WBB, 127k Followers

  • 4,769 likes, 56 comments, 52,200 views

Jeremy Roach, Duke MBB, 60k Followers

  • 3,153 likes, 33 comments

 Rachel Robertson, Miami T&F, 84K Followers

  • 115 likes, 5 comments. 8,939 views

Nimari Burnett, Alabama MBB, 54k followers

  • 2,529 likes, 37 comments, 16,200 views

Pete Nance, UNC Basketball, 22k Followers

  • 3,263 likes, 52 comments

“The event was great because student athletes promoted a movie that shows how sports goes beyond wins and losses,” said Hackett. “Athletes walked away with a different perspective of how impactful sports can be in many different ways.”

Champions is described as a hilarious and heartwarming story of a former minor-league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, is ordered by the court to manage a team of players with intellectual disabilities. He soon realizes that despite his doubts, together, this team can go further than they ever imagined.

Student athletes who promoted the movie were compensated both with baseline compensation and with additional monies earned through affiliate commission.

This piece originally appeared on Forbes

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