The beginning of July has marked a new era in college sports. Players across the country are now allowed by the NCAA to profit on their name, image and likeness, giving them the freedom to actually see some monetary gain in an arena that has made billions of dollars off them for decades while giving them nothing in return in terms of cold hard cash.
While this means college athletes can now make some cash by doing things like selling autographs, Twitch streaming, Cameo videos, clothing lines and so much more, the vast majority of what we have seen thus far on social media are brand endorsements. So, that got me thinking — what are some fun potential NIL endorsements that Ohio State’s football team should pursue?
There have already been some really good real-life examples of this, but perhaps none better than Dawand Jones — nicknamed “The Mountain” for his tremendous size at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds — promoting Mountain Berry candles through an ad for GoPuff.
Let’s run through some other fun ideas that I personally think would be tremendous endorsements for both the players and the companies involved (you’re welcome, ad agencies).
Miyan Williams - Olive Garden
As a non-Columbus native, I’m not fully aware of the best Italian restaurants in the area, so I went with a place that everyone would recognize and probably has quite the sizable advertising budget. If you didn’t already pick up on what I'm going for here, Williams’ nickname is “Meatball” for his short but jacked stature at 5-foot-8, 227 pounds. Think of what kind of tremendous content it would be for Williams to star in a commercial for an Italian restaurant serving a family a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs and giving a wink to the camera for those who understand the reference.
Harry Miller - Guitar Center
While everyone was trapped in their houses during the height of the pandemic, Ohio State guard Harry Miller was doing his best to keep everyone entertained with a variety of musical performances on social media. Miller is very talented at playing the guitar and already has a bit of that rockstar look about him with his long, luscious locks. Any local guitar shop would be crazy not to look to Miller for some form of endorsement, and he is actively seeking that opportunity.
If any guitar stores are looking to corner the athlete market, I’m your guy. pic.twitter.com/6wOE5XzLrN— Harry Miller (@h_miller76) July 1, 2021
Kyle McCord/Ryan Watts - AEP
This one is a no-brainer for two young guys on the Ohio State roster that could potentially make a huge impact in the near future. Any electrical company would be silly not to capitalize on athletes with the names McCORD and WATTS. “Ohio State fans always bring the electricity to Ohio Stadium on Saturdays in the fall, but here at AEP, we’re bringing the electricity to your home 365 days a year.” I mean the commercial practically writes itself!
Demario McCall - Yamaha
I don't think I even have to explain this one. McCall hasn’t quite been able to get things going on the field during his long tenure with the Buckeyes, but has always had a large personality off of it. In fact, probably the most famous picture of the RB/WR/DB is not even in an Ohio State jersey, but the shot of him on a dirt bike rocking an Adidas tracksuit and white Air Force Ones. Slap a logo on that bad boy or recreate it entirely with the motorcycle brand of your choosing and you’ve got yourself an incredible ad poster.
Thayer Munford - iHop
There are multiple reasons why this would be nearly the perfect endorsement for Munford or any of the offensive linemen at Ohio State (I picked Munford as the most established name). The big guys up front are known for being just that — big guys. Obviously any restaurant deal would probably work out for the men affectionately nicknamed the ‘slobs’ a few years back, but I can’t think of a more on-point union than a lineman like Munford and a breakfast food place like iHop. “I love a good pancake block on the field, but what I love even more is a stack of silver dollar pancakes from my local iHop.” I mean, come on!
Sevyn Banks - Chase
Don't really think I even have to explain this one. The man’s last name is Banks. His first name is Sevyn, which opens the door for all kinds of different promotions like 7% cash back for seven months upon starting up a new Chase credit card with promo code “DBU” or something along those lines. I’m sure somebody is crafting an idea along these lines as we speak. This Ohio State team has a bunch of great names on it that lend itself to some very obvious endorsement deals, but likely nobody has it easier in that area than Sevyn Banks.
Do you have any other funny ideas for Ohio State athlete brand endorsements? Let us know in the comments!