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NIL: Which brands should team up with Tennessee athletes?

NCAA players can start making money off their names, images and likenesses tomorrow. Help us make some matches.

Tennessee athletics

Tomorrow, July 1st 2021, will be a historic day in college sports. It’s the first day NCAA athletes are officially allowed to sell the rights to their names, images and likenesses.


If you want to know more about what all this means and the possible ramifications, ESPN has a running story on it here that gives you the meat and potatoes of what you should know. I encourage you to do your homework up on the subject — my statement about tomorrow making history isn’t hyperbole. This is a HUGE deal, and it’s the first step in righting some of the inherent, systemic wrongs within the NCAA’s amateur sports model.

It’s worth noting that Tennessee was one of the first schools to publicly get ahead of this paradigm shift. This video, from a month or so ago, tells you more about the specific infrastructure UT has in place to help student athletes navigate the ins and outs of the NLI and the subsequent opportunities.

With all that in mind, we took to Twitter for a little exercise: finding out which Vols and which brands should be paired up.

As you can see in the tweet, I used Pilot Flying J and Velus Jones, since, well Velus’ last name starts with a ‘J.’

And naturally, the Pilot/ Janzen Jackson/ NuKeese Richardson jokes came flying in. Of course, several McDonalds’ jokes followed.

Here are some of the more original responses from folks more clever than me:

One more, from me:

Y’all got anything better?

Now, this is all just mostly jokes on the internet. But realistically, which players do y’all see getting deals in the near future? Freshman center Jonas Aidoo has nearly 450,000 TikTok followers — I’d say somebody, somewhere would like to assist him in monetizing that digital leverage, right?