UCLA freshman hooper Kiki Rice scored Jordan Brand's first-ever NIL deal
The GIST: UCLA freshman hooper Kiki Rice scored Jordan Brand’s first-ever name, image and likeness (NIL) deal on Monday, firmly establishing her as an athlete to watch.
The details: The collaboration actually tipped off back on October 26th, when Rice gifted Jordans to her teammates after practice. Rice will rep Jumpman on the court when the college basketball season begins next week, and will also work with the brand on initiatives to better gender equity in sports.
The context: Jordan Brand’s sales have grown 65% in the last five years, and will surpass $5 billion this year. Outside of Rice, the Nike subsidiary is making a dent in the college basketball space by partnering with six schools (including UCLA) and supplying their athletes with gear. Upward trajectory.
Zooming out: A company’s first foray into NIL always feels like a statement, and Jordan Brand’s decision represents a clear vote of confidence in women’s college hoops and a bet on Rice to become one of the sport’s next stars.
- She may only boast 44K combined followers on social media at the moment, but her credentials speak volumes — she was an award-winning high school athlete and is the No. 2–ranked recruit in her class. Rising stock.