The Florida Panthers plan to add a large number of college athletes to their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) program as they will offer a marketing contract to every single eligible female student-athlete at FAU.
Florida Atlantic University, based in Boca Raton, has over 200 female athletes participating in a variety of sports including basketball, volleyball and softball.
The ‘FLA Athlete’ program started by signing University of Miami quarterback D’Eriq King, the first major professional sports team to sign a college player to such a deal.
King is cofounder of Dreamfield Sports which is an NIL-based program which is focused on “booking live events and creating marketing campaigns for collegiate athletes and brands.” Florida’s deal with FAU will be handled through Dreamfield Sports.
Sam Doerr, Florida’s Chief Strategy Officer, told the Associated Press that the Panthers have budgeted for each and every FAU female athlete to take advantage of the program.
According to the Panthers, “each female athlete at FAU will be invited to attend Panthers hockey games and engage their local fanbase through social media posts. Each athlete will receive a Panthers t-shirt to show support for the partnership.”
“There are a lot of businesses out there that are doing deals with full teams, but they’re all on the men’s side of things,” Doerr told AP.
“And we said, ‘Why not do that on the female side of things?’ We talked about basketball and a couple other sports at FAU, then decided we didn’t want to leave anyone out and said we’d just make the offer to everybody. … We talked about this from Day 1. We really, truly believe there is a market out there for female athletes.
“We’ve got 200 athletes we can work with in different ways and grow the brand. And at the very least, as a community member, we feel really positive about the impact we’ll be able to have with a school right up the road.”