LOCAL

NCAA athletes, like these Fresno State twins, score big endorsement deals

It’s been a few weeks since NCAA athletes became legally able to earn money and endorsement deals from their name and image without fear of facing repercussions. Since June 30, hundreds of athletes have already signed deals both big and small.

Two basketball players at Fresno State, twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder, instantly scored huge deals and have been capitalizing on their name, image, and brand ever since.

The Cavinder sisters only stand 5’6” tall, but on the court, in their Fresno State jerseys, the point guards hold an enormous presence.

“We both share the love of basketball so much, so it was just something that was such a goal to play college basketball together,” said Haley Cavinder.

Their dream of playing basketball for a Division 1 school is now a reality, but off the court, the viral sensations have developed a massive following.

While bored in quarantine during the pandemic, they posted a short video with synchronized dribbling to the song, ‘Chicken Wing.’ The post exploded on their TikTok account, gaining 3.4 million followers.

Since then, Haley and Hanna say their viral posts have taken on a domino effect, especially since June 30, 2021, when the NCAA granted college athletes across the country permission to benefit or earn money using their name and image.

Just hours after the law took effect, their lives as student-athletes changed for the better.

“On July 1st at 12 a.m., we actually got a Boost Mobile contract,” said Hanna Cavinder.

The twins signed a six-month branding deal with Boost Mobile and posted ads on Instagram for various companies, including Six Star Pro Nutrition and Gopuff. They give credit to Icon Source, a marketing company that helps professional, and now college athletes, score endorsement deals.

“460,000 student-athletes that now have the ability to work with brands, and then, now brands and communities that never imagined working with athletes now have the potential,” said Icon Source CEO Chase Garrett.

He says the key to successful branding for a young athlete starts with a good framework.

“Having a great representation, good kind of family structure, and understanding how to position themselves for the long-term,” Garrett said.

Garrett says since the image and likeness law changed, he’s seen so many brands excited to jump on board with clients outside of men’s football and basketball.

As for the Cavinder twins managing their brands, the message from the sisters to incoming freshman student-athletes is a simple one.

“Prioritizing the right things,” said Haley Cavinder. “Don’t be so focused on building your brand. That stuff will come.”

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