Adidas Signs Its First Football NIL Deals With Washington Huskies Duo

Adidas has announced its first name, image and likeness (NIL) deals with college football athletes, signing Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and wide receiver Rome Odunze. The two players will join the Adidas family as the brand’s first football NIL athletes and participate in marketing campaigns.

Adidas Expands Its NIL Network

Adidas launched its NIL network in July 2022, aiming to create a more equitable future in sports by empowering student-athletes to shape their own brand and future. The network currently has thousands of active student-athletes representing over 25 sports, including hundreds of athletes from Washington across 14 sports on campus.

Adidas Signs Its First Football NIL Deals With Washington Huskies Duo
Adidas Signs Its First Football NIL Deals With Washington Huskies Duo

Adidas has been a partner of the University of Washington since 2019 and has signed Huskies softball star Kinsey Fiedler as its first NIL athlete from the school in 2022. The brand also signed 15 female student-athletes to NIL deals in September 2022, deepening its presence in college sports.

Penix Jr. and Odunze Are Star Players

Michael Penix Jr. and Rome Odunze are both standout players for the Washington Huskies, who compete in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Penix Jr. is a Heisman Trophy favorite, having thrown for 16 touchdowns and 1,999 passing yards in his first five games of the season. He was named the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year and placed on the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2022.

Odunze led the Pac-12 in receiving yards in 2022 with 1,145 yards and earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 First Team. He was also named to AP’s Preseason All-America First Team and received several other preseason honors for 2023.

The Athletes Express Their Excitement

Both Penix Jr. and Odunze expressed their excitement and gratitude for joining the Adidas family as the brand’s first football NIL athletes. They also praised Adidas for its commitment to student-athletes and their university.

“I couldn’t be happier to be teaming up with the Adidas family, I’ve been in the three stripes my entire college career and their support has meant a lot to me. I’m excited about this unique opportunity to help further the brand and I’m appreciative of their investment in my university, my teammates, and myself,” said Penix Jr.

“It’s an honor to be joining the Adidas family as one of the brand’s first football NIL athletes,” said Odunze. “Adidas is committed to empowering me to shape my brand and my future, and I’m looking forward to inspiring the next generation of athletes.”

The University of Washington also welcomed the news and congratulated the athletes for their achievement.

“Adidas has quickly shown its commitment to providing the most innovative products and experiences for our athletes. And now, with its leadership in the NIL landscape, we’re excited to see Michael and Rome represent our university as they become Adidas’ first NIL football athletes,” said Jamaal Walton, Senior Associate AD for Sport Administration and Strategic Partnerships at Washington.

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