Jayden Daniels explains why LSU has become top destination for NIL athletes: ‘It’s the brand’

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The introduction of NIL — name, image and likeness — has changed the college sports landscape. 

Student-athletes are encouraged to monetize their names as brands, and it’s paid big dividends for many

Two of the highest-grossing college athletes based on brand partnerships are women’s gymnastics star Olivia “Livvy” Dunne and women’s basketball star Angel Reese, a 2022 national champion. 

They both attend LSU. 

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Jayden Daniels is the quarterback for the LSU Tigers this season after transferring from Arizona State following three seasons there. Daniels will get to experience what it’s like to play in “Death Valley” for Tigers home games in the toughest conference in college football, but he also got access to tremendous NIL deals, including a deal with Powerade. 

Daniels is among five college football stars and NIL athletes featured in Powerade’s first-ever fall football campaign with several TV spots and social and digital content going live throughout the upcoming season. More than 60 athletes will be a part of this new initiative, which will feature the sports drink’s new formula and packaging. 

“It’s a blessing,” Daniels told Fox News Digital over the phone. “I feel grateful to have my first national NIL deal with Powerade. Being able to do that and incorporate the Win Bar — the Win Bar means a lot to not just me, but the state of Louisiana and LSU. It just means more.”

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LSU’s sacred Win Bar is touched by every player walking out onto the Tiger Stadium turf, which Powerade incorporated into its marketing. 

LSU’s brand has driven many top college athletes to join the Tigers, whether it’s out of high school or through the transfer portal like Daniels.

“I’d just say it’s the brand that LSU has,” he explained. “You’re playing at a premiere university in the best conference where all eyes are on you. And then, just the people that came before you that’s paved the way for us, as far as Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal), Tyrann Mathieu. Those type of people have so much power.

“The brand that LSU has, they allow you to get your platform out there and exceed in all facets of life.”

For years, LSU has been a factory for some of the top college athletes in the country, a destination in the coveted Southeastern Conference. Being a part of the Tigers, wearing the yellow and gold down in the bayou, is more than a privilege to many. It’s a dream come true. 

The college football program is storied with many eventual NFL stars, including Mathieu, Odell Beckham Jr., Justin Jefferson, Joe Burrow and others. 

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LSU athletics has truly hit the ground running since NIL was installed, creating the NILSU Program, which is committed to make the university the top place for student-athletes to develop their personal brand.

“The goal of the NILSU program is to provide our student-athletes, staff, and community with the resources they need to successfully navigate an NIL deal,” its website states. “To take it a step further, we place emphasis on the importance of building a strong network to help equip our student-athletes for life after college athletics.”

The NILSU program works closely with the alumni network and the life skills department to “help provide education and connections within Baton Rouge and surrounding communities.”

Daniels is one of the athletes featured on the website, and as he pointed out, playing football for one of the most well-known schools in the country has its perks. 

According to On3, Dunne ranks second in the country in NIL earnings at $3.2 million, only behind USC’s Bronny James, the son of NBA superstar LeBron James. Reese comes in sixth with a value of $1.7 million. 

Daniels is No. 83 on the list with an estimated value of $562,000, which includes deals with Beats by Dre and Raising Cane’s along with Powerade.

The first national TV spot for Powerade will debut during LSU’s opening game against Florida State.

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