We’ve seen an early wave of NIL sponsorships for athletes across the NCAA, with the new rules that went into place this month. We’ve seen a few group endorsements so far, including a big one at Notre Dame. I mean that literally.
Mission BBQ, a national chain with locations in 16 states, is sponsoring the Notre Dame offensive line. The company has five restaurants in Indiana, including one in Mishawaka, just outside of South Bend.
The chain has previously supported Notre Dame linemen. It catered Liam Eichenberg’s NFL Draft party, before he went in the second round to the Miami Dolphins. Now, with players controlling their name, image, and likeness rights, Mission doesn’t have to wait to bring the Fighting Irish in to endorse their food.
Last week, Notre Dame players announced the deal, which reportedly covers all 17 current offensive linemen. It’s as natural a fit as you’ll find as more players land these new deals.
— Josh Lugg (@jluggnut) July 2, 2021
🍖 @MissionBBQ has sponsored all 17 offensive linemen at Notre Dame
It’s a movement 🍗 pic.twitter.com/OeBkautVQ5
— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 7, 2021
— Trevor Mendelson (@CoachTMendelson) July 3, 2021
Financial details for these endorsements haven’t come out just yet, but based on the pictures it sure looks like the Fighting Irish are happy with the arrangement. I imagine any comped barbecue goes a long way there.
This isn’t the biggest group deal we’ve seen, though. American Top Team, an MMA training company in South Florida, has offered every single scholarship player on the Hurricanes roster a $6,000 per year endorsement deal, which could total $540,000 if everyone accepts.
For programs with major regional and national profiles like Miami and Notre Dame, this could just be the start.