Following a triumphant freshman year at UConn, Paige Bueckers begins her Sophomore season as more than just a basketball player, but a brand ambassador. The Huskies point guard signed her first ever name, image, and likeness (NIL) endorsement deal with StockX. Although official terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Bueckers has a multi-year agreement with StockX and will most likely work with the company up until she is eligible for the WNBA draft in 2023.
There’s no doubt that Bueckers earned her spot at the top, as she won the John Wooden Award in 2021, making her the first freshman woman to do so since 1976. Being that StockX has plans to shift more focus on women’s athletics and basketball, Bueckers fits the bill naturally.
In the campaign video, Beuckers speaks on her connection to StockX saying, “I’m huge on fashion, huge on clothes, huge on shoes. Everybody that I sign with, I want to make sure my values align with them and theirs align with mine. I want to do great stuff in the community. I want to be able to reach people that don’t have the same opportunities that I had growing up and didn’t have the same blessing that I had.”
Both Beuckers and StockX have a similar story in terms of explosive success, that seems almost overnight. StockX launched in 2016 and quickly became a leading competitor in the resale market. With more than 125,000 items and over 500 brands, StockX continues to grow day-by-day. Even with the financial uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, StockX saw sales grow to a total of $1.8 billion in 2020, which was a striking increase from $1 billion in 2019. In April of 2021, StockX announced their latest round of funding, which revealed a current valuation of $3.8 billion.
As a UConn athlete, Beuckers is still required to wear Nike products in all official team activities and games. The history between Nike and UConn is extensive as the Huskies have longtime been considered as one of the premiere “elite” NCAA schools. Throughout her freshman season, Beuckers was typically seen wearing the Nike Kyrie 7 in team-exclusive colorways.
NIL deals are still relatively new amongst student-athletes, but provide a great pathway for student-athletes to receive compensation for their talent. To better lead student-athletes through the NIL process, UConn athletic department signed an agreement with Opendorse, a social media insight company. With Opendorse, student-athletes will have access to resources, marketing tools, and education about potential NIL deals. Opendorse had previously estimated Beuckers’ NIL value at $382,000 during last Spring’s NCAA tournament.
Since then, Beuckers has decided to be represented by the Wasserman Agency with Lindsay Kagawa Colas as her agent. Colas has been a leading agent for the WNBA and had a hand in landing Beuckers’ multi-year StockX NIL deal.
StockX plans to present their gathered data and insights throughout their partnership with Beuckers to further prove that women athletes can generate interest and impact sales for global partners. Although Beuckers is still in the early days of her basketball career, brands have had their eyes on the point guard for quite some time. Beuckers is regarded as a rising star and is predicted to be an influential footwear endorser as she inevitably transitions from college to the WNBA. It’s expected that Beuckers will receive her own signature shoe, making her apart of the small handful of WNBA players to do so.
Even though the WNBA has been around for 25 years, only nine women have been offered their own signature shoe. Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart is set to become the 10th woman to have a signature shoe as the Wasserman Agency landed her a deal with Puma.
Beuckers StockX deal also features an interesting detail that states that she’ll be able to design exclusive products for the platform’s DropX limited-edition launches. It’s unclear as to whether or not these will be Beuckers originals or if it’ll be more of a collaborative approach that allows her to work with existing brands. Throughout the deal, Beuckers will have access to all of the limited-edition footwear and apparel from all the brands that StockX has to offer. In her introductory campaign with StockX, she is seen wearing Nike, New Balance, OVO, Jordan Brand, and even adidas Essentials by Jerry Lorenzo. Considering Beuckers will be seen wearing an array of brands off-the-court of her collegiate career, it’ll be interesting to see who Beuckers chooses to partner with for her future professional endorsement deal.
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