Adidas Announces Equitable, Inclusive NIL Network
PORTLAND, OR – Ahead of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, adidas is furthering its commitments to accelerate inclusivity and equality in the world of sport with a focus on student-athletes. The global sports brand today unveiled a wide-sweeping, equitable and inclusive Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) network that will be open to every eligible student-athlete at an adidas-partnered National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I University.
With the ability to reach over 50,000 student-athletes across 23 sports and 109 schools, the new NIL program will give eligible student-athletes of all genders the opportunity, directly with adidas, to become paid affiliate brand ambassadors. Launching in four phases over the next 12 months, the network will begin with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Power-5 conference partners in Fall 2022, scaling across all schools by April 2023.
“At adidas, we are committed to creating change through sport and recognize the important role student-athletes play in shaping the future,” said Rupert Campbell, president of adidas North America. “Our groundbreaking NIL program advances our commitments toward building inclusivity in sport and inspires athletes to realize a more equitable world. I can’t wait to see it come to life.”
WNBA star and longstanding adidas partner, Candace Parker, supports the NIL program’s mission of pushing the game forward for all athletes, and embraces the movement with adidas as a co-presenting sponsor of her new upcoming documentary, “Title IX: 37 Words That Changed America.” The documentary will premiere April 2 at 1:00pm EST on TBS during the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four weekend programming.
“adidas’ NIL network is an incredible step forward for the growth of women’s sports,” adds Candace Parker, adidas partner. “It will have an impact on the future of college athletics and hopefully create a more equal, sustainable landscape where athletes feel supported and invested in as they grow in their college careers. It builds upon adidas’ and my shared ambition to empower the next generation of women in life and sport.”
As eyes turn to the March Madness tournament games, adidas will look to the college basketball stage to generate visibility for the Title IX anniversary with partner school teams sporting ‘More Is Possible’ t-shirts during warm-ups at both women’s and men’s Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and National Championship games. Reminding fans and athletes to push the boundaries of possibility, the shirts will carry a meaningful message – including language directly from Title IX legislation:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
“It has been a long 50 years since the passage of Title IX – and we’ve fought and played for equality every step of the way,” added Billie Jean King, adidas partner. “The progress we have made is incredible, but it’s time to focus on the next 50 years – and I’m proud to be a longtime partner with adidas, who is helping to build the future of sport.”
adidas is committed to creating a culture of equity and fairness wherever sport is played. This initiative is only the latest chapter of the brand’s ongoing ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ campaign, which aims to grow accessibility, celebrate inclusivity, and create a more equitable future in sport where all feel welcomed, encouraged, and supported.
“Open to all eligible student-athletes regardless of their gender, the adidas NIL network embodies our belief that sport has the power to change lives by upskilling athletes and giving them the ability to begin to experience an entrepreneurial path that will carry them beyond their college years,” said Jim Murphy, adidas NCAA Program Lead. “This is not just a first-of-its kind program for the brand and industry, it goes much wider by unlocking opportunities in business and life that will enable them as student-athletes to maximize their NIL, opening the doors to future possibilities.”
Fueled by this rebellious optimism, adidas is inspiring the next generation of athletes to realize new possibilities through partnership programs such as Athlete Ally, where adidas is evaluating, supporting, and improving Athletic Equality Index scores across universities, as well as the McLendon Foundation, creating paid fellowships for minorities across partnered athletic departments. The brand continues to invest in partnership programs and campaigns, alongside notable athlete partners such as Candace Parker, Billie Jean King and many others who join together with adidas to support this NIL program and have led the sports world for decades, working relentlessly to push the game forward.
This milestone marks just one chapter in the brand’s commitment to reimagine what’s possible for the next 50 years of pushing for change to advance gender equity, on and off the court.
To celebrate March Madness, ‘More Is Possible’ shirts will be available for retail starting March 23 on adidas.com/us/college, Fanatics and other local collegiate retailers for $25.
Join the conversation @adidas on Twitter and Instagram using #ImpossibleIsNothing
*Eligibility dependent on the NIL rules of the athlete’s school and location.1
adidas is a global leader in the sporting goods industry. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach/Germany, the company employs more than 61,000 people across the globe and generated sales of € 21.2 billion in 2021.