University of Kentucky standout freshman basketball player Justin Edwards is the first athlete to ink an NIL deal with Klutch Athletics, a new Black-owned sportswear brand co-authored by New Balance.
Owned by Rich Paul, the CEO and Founder of Klutch Sports Group, Klutch Athletics by New Balance aims to spotlight the convergence of sports, culture, and community.
“It means so much to me to join Klutch Athletics and be the first college athlete and first basketball player on the roster,” Edwards said. “I love the way the brand is blending performance with style, giving me something equally effective for training or relaxing. Joining Klutch Athletics and New Balance is such a unique opportunity, I can’t wait to get started.”
The former five-star recruit and Philadelphia native will join other premier college basketball players represented by Klutch Sports Group, including USC basketball players Bronny James and JuJu Watkins.
Paul expressed tremendous excitement with Edwards becoming the first NIL signee to Klutch Athletics by New Balance.
“We’re thrilled to welcome an incredible talent like Justin to the Klutch Athletics roster,” Paul said. “I can’t think of a better fit to be our first college athlete and first basketball player. Not only does he have outstanding skills on the court, he’s also a young man of great character who cares about his community and embodies what it means to Be Klutch.”
Despite attending the Nike-branded school of Kentucky, Edwards will endorse New Balance off the court through marketing campaigns without the Wildcat logo.
A projected top pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, Edwards aims to lead the Wildcats to a prosperous season. The talented guard got off to a great start, scoring 16 points in his first collegiate game against Texas A&M-Commerce on Nov. 10.