Gambian-born College Football Star Ali Gaye Could Make Millions from Deals
Gambian-born Louisiana State University football defensive end Ali Gaye is one athlete who is attracting multiple endorsements. Endorsements came from local businesses, large corporations, and everything in between. Some student-athletes will even be able to make millions from these deals. While he is focused on football and school, he uses these endorsements to prepare for his more distant future.
Gaye emigrated from The Gambia to the United States in 7th grade with his family. His parents understood the importance of education and sought a better life for him and his two sisters. Although they both had good jobs in The Gambia, they were willing to make sacrifices for their family.
Gaye’s parents worked two jobs each, sometimes putting in sixteen-hour days. Although Gaye spoke some English, his native language is Wolof. He quickly learned that by participating in sports, he could socialize and improve his English. He first played basketball and then started football in 8th grade. He excelled at both basketball and football in high school and was even part of the wrestling team. However, by his senior year, he had committed to football.
Gaye’s Marketing Plan
Gaye, an Interdisciplinary major with three minors — Communications, Sports, and Leadership — has a passion for technology. His goal is to have a stellar football season, graduate from college, and enter the 2022 NFL draft.
However, he wants to think beyond football and is considering endorsements from technology companies. He understands the importance of building his network, so after he retires as an athlete, he could potentially work in the technology space or leverage it for foundational type work. With most endorsements in the NIL space being for local businesses and free products, this is a brilliant and strategic use of endorsements. Gaye’s endorsements are likely to be a useful experience for his future.
Let’s look at a couple of his endorsements to date…
airSlate, a thousand-person Boston-area Software as a Service (SaaS) company specializing in office workflow automation products. It was one of the first companies to enter the college athlete endorsements space. Soon after the new rules took effect, Gaye signed an endorsement deal with airSlate for the 2021 school year. Specifically, he endorsed airSlate’s eSignature service.
Trazer focuses on the Healthcare and the Performance and Fitness industries. Their solution provides everyone from athletes to the elderly the ability to assess and measure key mobility such as balance, kinematics, dynamic movement, and neuromechanics. This type of analysis and data empowers the user to make better decisions about someone’s health and performance, even reducing the number of falls in the elderly.
airSlate was Gaye’s first endorsement. Gaye was not overly active on social media since he had focused on football. However, through his endorsements, he has become more active and gained more followers.
Profiting from one’s NIL is new for college athletes, and dealing with contracts and brands can be challenging. Gaye has secured a marketing agency, Wasserman, that helps act as his advocate to brands. This helps cut out the noise and allows him to stay focused on his schooling and football.
Gaye is a standout on the football field as a top NCAA pass rusher. However, with his clear focus on technology and his ability to attract large companies, he seems to stand out on his NIL endorsements. We wish him all the best and look forward to seeing other technology companies leverage his Name, Image, and Likeness.