Northwestern Announces NIL Partnership, Academic Awards for Student-Athletes Northwestern Announces NIL Agreement, Academic Awards for Student-Athletes

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Daily archive photo by Angeli Mittal

Walter Athletics Center. Within a week, NU announced a NIL partnership with Fanatics and that fellow student-athletes can accept academic awards.

In an ever-changing college athletics landscape, Northwestern is looking for new ways to support and reward its student-athletes.

Shortly after the National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the restriction of NCAA education-related benefits violated antitrust laws, the NU announced on September 13 that all scholarship student-athletes can accept academic awards during the 2022-23 school year.

“Our goal will always be centered on supporting Northwestern student-athletes in every way possible as they develop in the classroom, community and competition,” Athletic Director Derrick Gragg said in a press release on 13 of September. “This ability to recognize and reward academic performance is the latest example of our university providing a world-class foundation for Wildcats to grow and excel.”

NU will also partner with sports products brand Fanatics and OneTeam, which will allow Wildcat student-athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness, the University announced Tuesday.

As a result of these partnerships, loyal Cats fans will be able to purchase T-shirts personalized with the name and number of their favorite NU athletes later this fall.

“We are thrilled to partner with two innovative companies that are committed to developing opportunities for student-athletes to maximize their personal brands,” said Tyler Jones, NU Senior Executive Associate for Revenue Generation and Strategic Initiatives, Tyler Jones in a statement to press. “This program will ensure that Wildcats remains at the forefront of an ever-evolving NIL landscape.”

Only fall sports teams, including men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, and soccer, will be included in the initial release, according to the University. Winter and spring teams, including but not limited to men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball, will launch later this year.

NU’s new partnership with Fanatics comes nearly two weeks after the retailer launched its first batch of NIL college football shirts.

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