It was only a matter of time before national brands started to get in the game of advertising with current college athletes. In fact, less than six weeks after NIL became a thing for college athletes, that time is now.
Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has partnered with the soft drink Dr. Pepper; the man set to replace Trevor Lawrence will be featured in the next installment of Fansville. This will be a national ad/TV campaign featuring Uiagalelei, who said it was a “no-brainer” to sign on when the company approached him.
News: Dr. Pepper has partnered with #Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei for their next installment of Fansville – the first big brand to partner with a major college football player for a national TV commercial.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 11, 2021
While filling in for Lawrence last season, Uiagalelei completed 78-of-117 pass attempts (66.7 percent) for 914 yards (7.8 yards per attempt), five touchdowns and no interceptions. Uiagalelei, a top-10 prospect in the 2020 class, ran for four touchdowns, too.
This isn’t the first advertising deal that Uiagaleli has inked; he’s also working with Bojangles.
With NIL a part of the picture now, big programs like Clemson — that offers large quantities of national exposure in an increasingly popular live-TV product — will have serious appeal to large brands. When those companies disperse that money, it’ll trickle down to the most marketable athletes at said programs. This has the chance to be yet another game-changer for recruiting.