COLUMBIA - South Carolina women's basketball players will make at least $25,000 each during the 2022-23 season thanks to a unique name, image and likeness deal with the Gamecocks' NIL collective, the Garnet Trust, and sports marketing firm NOCAP Sports.
The deal with the reigning NCAA champions is funded by South Carolina attorney and former state representative Bakari Sellers, as well as "a group of other prominent alumni" according to a release from NOCAP Sports. The total value for all 13 members of the women's basketball roster is approximately $325,000.
"The South Carolina community and alumni network are proud to support the reigning national champs as they continue to build the best program in the country," Sellers said in the release. "NIL has created an awesome opportunity for these athletes to earn what they have always deserved, and we are excited to continue to support this team for years to come."
Per the release, each member of the team will be responsible for deliverables that include community appearances, social media engagement and sponsored interviews. The deal also includes a team-wide partnership with Slate Milk, a high-protein health drink company. Its is believed to be the first NIL deal that combines both a university collective and a national brand.
"This is a great thing for our program, and I appreciate the work that went into creating this new pathway for our players to have some assurances that they will have NIL deals coming this season," coach Dawn Staley said in the release. "Bakari Sellers has been passionate about women's basketball for a long time, and it's great to have him show up in this way for our program. I can't wait to see what opportunities are in front of our players through this deal and what can come next for them and our program in this space."
Several members of the Gamecocks' national championship squad already have individual NIL earnings in addition to the new deal. Consensus 2021 national player of the year Aliyah Boston is sponsored by Crocs, and senior Zia Cooke has done deals with national brands like Campbell's Soup and Command hanging products.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: South Carolina women's basketball NIL deal earns Dawn Staley's praise