Much of the national talk of late has been surrounding the impacts of COVID-19 on the potential for a 2020 football, and basketball, season, and what that might mean for the finances of athletic departments around the nation. Rightfully so. We’ve seen school after school announce upcoming changes. At Iowa, we saw pay cuts for Gary Barta and all the head coaches of the major sports programs. We’ve also heard about reduced travel budgets and changes schedules to make ends meet. Other schools have been forced to cut programs altogether, including Stanford, which cut 11 of their 36 programs despite a mammoth endowment and generally strong budget position coming into the pandemic. The Ivy League has already announced they’re not having fall sports. There will be lasting impacts for schools around the country because of COVID-19.
But perhaps equally as big of an impact will come from the proposed changes to the NCAA’s name, image and likeness rules. Several states have already passed laws allowing athletes to profit from their NIL and the NCAA is on the cusp of changes that would finally allow athletes to receive some compensation.
The impacts that may have on the economics of college athletics, individual conferences and schools themselves is a topic best left for another day with someone more educated on the matter (if you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to check out Matt Brown, formerly of SB Nation who now runs Extra Points). Instead, I’d like to explore what this might mean for the athletes themselves. How much do they stand to make if the dollars are solely coming from sponsors? Who would be most likely to get a deal? Who would be paying them?
Here are some of the most likely to get deals and who might be interested in paying for appearances, autographs, photo ops and more.
Arctic Glacier Premium Ice
Jordan Bohannon is one of the athletes missing out on a good chunk of change by not being allowed to profit from his name, image and likeness during his college career. The Marion native is charismatic with a massive social media following that would translate to big dollars if he were allowed to be a paid spokesman.
The best fit for his services? Arctic Glacier Premium Ice. Need to keep you beverages cool? Trust the ice that keeps the water in Jordan Bohannon’s veins ice cold!
Next Level Fitness
Candidly, there are about a million places that would be great fits for Luka Garza and if he were able to capitalize on his own name, image or likeness, he would have made some really good money last year. But the perfect is pretty clearly Next Level Fitness. Granted, Luka is likely never setting foot in a gym without Frank, so perhaps he should be a co-spokesman, but this is a match made in advertising heaven.
Want to take your physical fitness to the next level? Join Luka Garza at Next Level Fitness!
If you’ve spent much time in Iowa City, you know the downtown area is the life of the town. The pedestrian mall is the center of college life, filled with bars and restaurants and shops, etc. What you may not know is the IC Downtown District offers gift cards which can be used as cash at many of those bars, restaurants and shops. And who is a better spokesman for the Downtown District than the guy who spends more time downtown than anyone else?
Looking for that perfect gift this holiday season? Take it from CJ Fredrick and go downtown!
Tyler Goodson is a lot of things. He’s a dynamic young player who would no doubt have car dealerships, restaurants and so much more itching to sign him to some sort of advertising deal. But if Goodson is nothing else, he’s electric, and a local electrician could sure capitalize on that.
Take it from the most electric player in Iowa City, for the best service at the best price, it’s gotta be Price Electric!
DXL Big and Tall
Did you know Brandon Smith wears size XXXL gloves? I heard that story once somewhere. You know who else probably heard it? Every big and tall store this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. You better believe the DXL outlet in Willaimsburg is taking advantage of the fact they’re the only place Iowa’s big receiver can find a pair of gloves.
Having trouble finding something in your size? Catch a great deal on everything from pants to XXXL gloves at DXL Big and Tall!
Speaking of Iowa wide receivers, it’s fair to assume Ihmir Smith-Marsette’s phone would have been ringing off the hook following his incredible performance in last year’s Holiday Bowl. While his opportunities would have been boundless, that pop-up fireworks stand in late June would have been willing to drop top dollar for the most explosive player at Iowa in two decades.
Looking for fireworks this Independence Day? Follow Ihmir Smith-Marsette to XYZ Fireworks Stand for explosive deals!
This is perhaps the most obvious one out there. Not only is Iowa’s center in need of a refueling 10-15 times a day, but he’s been serving up pancakes every week since he moved to the offensive line.
Looking for your new breakfast spot? Let Tyler Linderbaum pave the way to endless pancakes at IHOP!
Alaric Jackson has been protecting the blind side of Iowa QBs for three years. Who does he turn to when he needs protection? Who knows. But a security company would surely latch onto that opportunity.
Who do the security experts turn to for their own home’s protection? Stay safe with ADT Security.
Transamerica Life Insurance
This one is perhaps less likely in terms of the tag line, but insurance companies, like medical device companies, are notorious for employing former athletes as salesmen when they finally hang up the cleats/sneakers. If they could use those names to sell while they’re still playing, you’d better believe they’d jump at the opportunity.
Take it from someone who’s been putting opposing QBs in body bags for years, your family needs the protection of a life insurance policy from Transamerica Life!
At most schools, the kicker would be an afterthought when it comes to sponsorships or advertising. Not at Iowa and not with Keith Duncan. Duncan solidified his place in Iowa football lore with his game-winner as a true freshman. But his status as a celebrity grew to new heights when he not only iced the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Iowa’s 2019 season finale, but proceeded to blow their sideline a goodnight kiss. That has the makings of a marriage made in heaven with a local jeweler.
Looking for that perfect gift for your special someone? Take it from someone who knows a thing or two about kisses and stop on in at Necker’s Jewelers and let us take care of you!
There are surely more tremendous opportunities out there. Who else has a sponsorship match made in heaven?