LUBBOCK, Texas — Local businesses in the South Plains are working alongside Texas Tech athletes on endorsement deals.
Starting in June, Texas Tech launched the Beyond Verified program that allows Tech athletes to have more control of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). In July, the NCAA adopted a rule that allowed student-athletes to profit off their NIL.
Mark McDougal, principal of Table 82 and Las Brisas Steakhouse, said they recently signed men’s basketball player Terrence Shannon Jr. to help promote the restaurants.
“Well he loves steak, I can tell you that,” said McDougal. “And you know, TJ is just a super young man and very energetic.”
McDougal said the ability to sign deals with the players offers a businesses opportunity.
“Tech athletes here have a lot of social media following. Everybody knows who they are. Everybody wants to meet them,” said McDougal. “So, [it’s] a great opportunity for businesses to allow some of these young men and women to endorse our businesses and help us market those businesses.”
Roy Rodriguez, who does public relations for Forza site Services, said they and Box2U recently did a weekend endorsement deal with current Texas Tech and former Monterey running back Xavier White where he signed autographs at Cardinal’s Sport Center.
“Xavier was humble,” said Rodriguez. “And to top it off he’s a local high school running back as well so, we thought that was a great tie in.”
Rodriguez said being able to do the endorsement deals would help bring the community together and help some athletes generate needed income.
“It’s been years where coaches felt like watching athletes that they pick up or recruit [where] the families [were] struggling and there’s nothing they can do,” said Rodriguez. “Now these kids can sign some autographs, maybe give some autographs, maybe give their mom and dad some extra help at the house or buy even buy food for themselves.”
Eddie McBride, president of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber was working with Texas Tech to help connect businesses with athletes.
“We are actually going to determine how we can put on some businesses roundtables to both help educate businesses, as well as how to get involved,” said McBride. “With this ‘Name Image Likeness’ opportunity, we just want everyone to be working on the same sheet of paper, if we can help do that.”