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Today’s Case

Powerade launches NIL TV spot with college basketball stars

LSU’s Flau’jae Johnson and USC’s Isaiah Collier (Photo Credit:

Ahead of this month’s NCAA Tournament, Powerade, the "official hydration partner of March Madness," has launched a new TV campaign featuring two of college basketball's brightest stars. The commercial - titled "March Doesn’t Start In March" - stars defending national champion Flau'jae Johnson of LSU and Isaiah Collier of USC.

Both athletes partnered with Powerade in January and this is the brand's first March Madness campaign to feature NIL athletes, which will air across national television, digital creative, out-of-home and social media. The spot will debut on Sunday, March 17 on CBS during the NCAA Selection Show.

BodyArmour Sports Nutrition CMO Tom Gargiulo: “Both Flau’jae and Isaiah embody the same hard-working, never-quit attitude as Powerade, so we’re thrilled to see this new campaign come to life and showcase to athletes and consumers everywhere that Powerade offers more than the competition.”

To amplify the launch, Powerade is also teaming up with more than 40 additional NIL athletes across the country to create supporting digital and social media content.

The Verdict

  • NIL moving into the national TV spotlight

    • As an NCAA sponsor, it makes sense to work with college athletes for collaborations - and there are fewer bigger stage opportunities than March Madness.

    • Similar to another beverage company, CELSIUS highlighted select football stars in a nationally televised commercial last year.

  • Did USC granted licensing/logo use and not LSU?

    • From looking at the above picture, Collier’s USC logo on his jersey is visible (indicating USC granted licensing privileges) and Johnson’s uniform looks to be a generic purple (indicating LSU did not grant licensing privileges).

      • Small things make a big difference for NIL partnerships, as Collier’s picture is ‘more natural’ than Johnson’s.

  • Part of a larger campaign

    • Props to Powerade for making the NIL campaign a multi-touch approach. (National TV, social media, digital, additional athletes, etc.)

      • The best campaigns at any level have more than one outlet/source. The more audiences you can tap into (NIL or not), the better for the athletes and the brands.

High School golfer forfeits eligibility due to NIL!

Ohio high schooler Mia Hammond is looking to score with her brand on and off the course. Check out this video for more!

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