Last Updated on February 17, 2023
Laney Higgins, a freshman for Oglethorpe University volleyball, is the first Division III athlete to sign with NIL.Store, a company backed by Mark Cuban and powered by Campus Ink.
The new merchandise line features a hoodie in honor of National Girls & Women in Sports Day on Feb. 1. Higgins is also committed to donating a portion of her future NIL proceeds to the Women in Sports Foundation®.
“I’m excited to debut this merchandise line, which will focus on female student-athlete empowerment,” Higgins said. “I’m hopeful that this can inspire other female college student-athletes to get started on pursuing their dreams through leveraging their NIL, while also showcasing the importance of girls and women in sports.”
The hoodie features three phrases with a play on words that hold a significant meaning to Higgins. The first featured on the front of the hoodie reads, “OPPHERTUNITY.” More opportunities will lead to women becoming “strong-her,” which is the second phrase on the back of the hoodie, said Higgins.
Lastly, the hoodie dons the phrase, “Empowered Women Empower Women,” on the back, which signifies all of the women in Higgins’ life that inspire her every day.
“People that wear this line are leaders, and I want the people following to be inspired to also lead,” Higgins said.
Hard Work Pays Off
Higgins has been a leader in her own right. Out of 30 female student-athletes, she was the only NCAA Division III competitor named to the META NIL Empowered 2.0 team. The program stretches across nine sports and 13 conferences, providing education, mentorship, career coaching and brand connections on all things NIL.
She has other deals with brands like Q-Collar, Outback Steakhouse, Champs and INNBeauty, all with the premise of giving back.
The Tampa native is even a host of her very own show on Instagram. For each episode of “W4LKING & T4LKING,” Higgins goes live on her page and informally interviews a fellow female student-athlete as they walk to class or practice. There are 11 episodes that viewers can watch on Reels.
Earning the “Hustle” Award from her experience with META, Higgins strives to improve herself and help others do the same.
“When Laney came to us with her idea, we could not be more excited to help bring her dreams to life,” said Molly Pfeiffer, Creative Account Manager for NIL.Store. “As a former soccer player at Marquette, I was especially drawn to Laney’s initiative and love nothing more than seeing women support women.”
Pre-orders for the hoodie began on Jan. 30 and shipping starts on Feb. 27.
Although future plans are in the works, for now, Higgins is focused on giving back to the Women in Sports Foundation®.