College basketball standout Aneesah Morrow signs NIL deal with Caktus AI
The GIST: New
achievement sponsorship inventory unlocked? College basketball standout Aneesah Morrow announced her transfer from DePaul to national champs LSU on Friday through a name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal with Caktus AI, strengthening the connection between the transfer portal and college sports’ NIL era.
The company: Essay-generator Caktus AI has ramped up NIL efforts in recent months by striking deals with fellow LSU athletes Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne, as well as former Miami hoopers Haley and Hanna Cavinder. Revenue “shot up” since Caktus AI’s first college deal in February (with Dunne), despite some prickly controversy.
The details: Last Friday, Morrow posted an Instagram video sponsored by Caktus AI showcasing the app. She sends the ChatGPT alternative a series of prompts about the transfer portal, ultimately asking where she should go this offseason — the AI replies: “The answer is clear, you belong in Baton Rouge, go be great!” Writing is its passion.
The context: The transfer portal is college sports’ answer to free agency, and although using deals to directly recruit talent is against NCAA rules, this is yet another example of players’ moves being increasingly dictated by a school’s ability to boost NIL value.
Zooming out: Morrow’s post opens up the door for athletes and brands to explore sponsored transfer announcements. The benefits are clear — sponsors can maximize brand awareness during breaking news opportunities by inserting themselves into the discussion. Soaking up the sun.