Biggest Sponsorship Deals in College Football For 2023

Biggest Sponsorship Deals in College Football
Biggest Sponsorship Deals in College Football

Despite drawing some of the largest crowds in sport, college football remains an amateur endeavour and as such, players don’t get paid directly by their respective teams. However, players are free to explore their own image rights and commercial partnerships, so we are taking a look at the biggest sponsorship deals in college football ahead of new season.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had long resisted considerable efforts from players to compensate college athletes, in football and across amateur sports.

Eight of the 10 biggest stadiums in the world are home to college football teams, with attendances rivalling that of popular professional leagues such as the English Premier League and the Bundesliga.

That prompted a historic Supreme Court ruling in 2021, which allowed for student-athlete compensation for name, image and likeness, dubbed NIL.

The highly profitable and professional nature of college football has seen some its star players garner multi-million dollar partnerships as a result, and we are taking a closer look at which players command the biggest sponsorship deals ahead of the new season.

Biggest Sponsorship Deals in College Football For 2023

All NIL valuations supplied by on3

5. Drake Maye (North Carolina Tar Heels)

Drake Maye was among seven college athletes signed to NIL deals to promote Dwayne Johnson’s ZOA energy drink.

The Tar Heels quarterback had an award-laden 2022, picking up the ACC accolades for Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and the overall Player of the Year.

In addition to his partnership with ZOA, his total $1.5 million NIL valuation is also helped by endorsements from UNC collective Heels4Life and Jimmy’s Famous Food.

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4. Travis Hunter (Colorado Buffaloes)

Valued the same as Drake Maye, Travis Hunter comes in at number four due to a significantly larger social media following.

With 1.4m people keeping tabs on his various accounts, the Colorado cornerback has signed deals with NXTRND, Kastking and Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits.

The 20-year-old was voted SWAC Freshman of the Year in 2022, and follows Deion Sanders to the Buffaloes after the pair left Jackson State.

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3. Bo Nix (Oregon Ducks)

One of the NIL trailblazers two years ago, Bo Nix initially signed deals Milo’s Tea Company and Topps.

After a two-year stint at Auburn Tigers was swapped for a new challenge at the Ducks in 2022, Nix managed to attract the higher-ups at global headphone brand Bose which sees him propel into the top three.

At this moment in time, his NIL valuation is currently $1.7 million.

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2. Caleb Williams (USC Trojans)

It might be a surprise to see last season’s Heisman Trophy recipient at number two, but Caleb Williams represents a sizeable jump from Bo Nixon in third place.

Transferring as a sophomore to USC appears to have dividends for his personal and commercial development, and he has a wealth of deals with with Neutrogena, United Airlines, Beats By Dre and PlayStation’s Playmaker program.

Those partnerships are believed to be worth a collective $2.6 million, and the 21-year-old will be looking to become the first repeat Heisman winner since Archie Griffin 48 years ago.

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1. Arch Manning (Texas Longhorns)

If it wasn’t Arch Manning’s family tree, it is likely Williams would be sitting at number one.

Nevertheless, the Texas Longhorns quarterback hails from football royalty with grandfather Archie a two-time Pro Bowler and his uncles Eli and Peyton both multi-Super Bowl winners.

It is believed Archie Manning blocked him from penning any NIL deals until he became a starter, and the 18-year-old may well snatch the spot off Quinn Ewers this season.

He recently signed his first NIL deals with Panini America, which has seen him shoot up to the top spot for biggest sponsorship deals in college football, valued at $2.9 million.

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