Renowned black-owned Washington, D.C. soul food restaurant Oohh’s & Aahh’s recently announced its first name, image, and likeness athlete partnership, signing with Howard University basketball star Destiny Howell. Partnering with her agency Tykoon Sports, Howell will promote Oohh’s & Aahh’s and its popular dishes on her various social media platforms. The restaurant will also feature a post-game meal series and custom apparel. On top of that, it is also offering a 10% discount on meals for customers that use the code “destiny” online.
The connection between Howell and the restaurant was forged organically, and began just days into her collegiate career.
“When I first arrived in [Washington] D.C. my freshman year, I knew nothing about the food out here,” Howell said. “I remember ordering Oohhs and Aahhs on Uber Eats. Immediately, I knew that this was a place that I would return to while being at Howard consistently. When NIL first came about, Oohh’s and Aahh’s were among the first places to come to mind. I wrote it down in my notes as a potential NIL deal, prayed on it, manifested about it, and it finally happened with assistance from my partners at Tykoon Sports!”
One of NIL’s most unique features is its ability for fans to discover more about the athlete beyond the playing field. Howell views this as a chance for Bison women’s basketball enthusiasts to become acquainted with her as a New York native, and for her to shed light on the various small businesses that serve as cornerstones of the Washington, D.C. community.
“I see this partnership bringing me more local awareness for people unfamiliar with me as an N.Y. native,” the senior point guard said. “It also allows me to interact with my fans and the community more. As for the restaurant, I can bring more attention to the brand by using my influence on campus. Together, we hope to make the restaurant everybody’s go-to soul food spot!”
In the end, Howell hopes to use this NIL partnership to inspire fellow college athletes at HBCUs to recognize the potential of NIL in connecting with the community and cultivating stronger relationships with local businesses.
“As a student that attends a historically black college, I want more athletes seeking the bigger brands and do deals with black owned businesses,” she said. “While tapping into local businesses, YOU can be the change and influence to help engage more people in your community. It has been proven that women receive fewer NIL deals than men, so my message to women athletes is to be more assertive and push for their own NIL deals. Don’t always wait for brands to come to you and pursue authentic deals!”
Oohh’s & Aahh’s has two Washington, D.C. locations located at 5933 Georgia Ave. and 1005 U St. NW. Its culinary excellence was previously featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.