Florida Panthers Sign University of Miami Quarterback to Endorsement Deal

No, we don't mean the Carolina Panthers

Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers welcome guest to take part in a Draft day event.
Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

First things first: no, you’re not reading that headline wrong. A team called the Panthers has indeed signed a deal with D’Eriq King, the University of Miami’s quarterback. This isn’t the case of the Carolina Panthers making an unprecedented move; instead, it’s about the Florida Panthers taking advantage of the NCAA’s new guidelines on student athletes making money.

At Yahoo! Sports, JohnWallStreet has more information on the deal and what it might mean for college sports moving forward. It’s a NIL deal — one involving a player’s name, image or likeness — and one that the article compares to a social media influencer program established by the New York Jets in 2016. The Panthers had something similar set up, which they were able to apply to this new scenario.

Based on some data shared in the article, it sounds like King will make a five-figure sum for his endorsement, and he has the potential to make more if he can drive a certain amount of ticket sales to the Panthers.

The article also reveals that a female student-athlete based in southern Florida will receive a similar endorsement deal. And it notes that Shawn Thornton, the Panthers’ chief commercial officer, has gotten calls from other teams asking for advice on implementing something similar.

As income sources for student-athletes go, endorsing a team playing a completely different sport seems like a good balance between making money without raising ethical concerns. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t room for some grey areas — a college basketball player signing an endorsement deal with a hockey team owned by someone who also owns an NBA team, for instance, could set off alarm bells in some quarters. We’re still in the early days of this, and it’s hard to think there aren’t more changes on the way.

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