By Chris Chavez
July 8, 2023
Stanford freshman Juliette Whittaker, who won a bronze medal at the 2022 U20 world championships gold medal in the 800m, has signed a Name Image Likeness deal with On. She is the first NCAA athlete to sign an NIL deal with the Swiss sportswear company.
Here’s what you need to know:
– Whittaker runs at Stanford, which is a Nike sponsored school. She will not be able to wear On at practice or Stanford-organized events. She will wear On outside of those occasions. If she went on a run on her own, she will wear On. She will also post about and attend a few On events throughout the year. At postseason meets, she can wear On footwear and apparel. For example, if she chose to race on the European circuit in the summer, she will wear on.
– Juliette Whittaker just wrapped up her freshman year at Stanford. She was the anchor of the women’s DMR team that won the NCAA Indoor DMR title in March. She finished second in the 800m final at the NCAA Indoor Championships behind her teammate Roisin Willis, who just became New Balance’s first NIL athlete.
– Whittaker was a high school star out of Mount de Sales Academy in Maryland. In 2022, she ran 1:59.04 to win the U.S. U20 title and break the U.S. high school girls 800m record. The time is still her personal best heading into the 2023 USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
– As a junior, she competed at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials and reached the 800m semifinals.
– She also won the 2022 New Balance Nationals Indoor mile title.
– Whittaker lowered her mile personal best to 4:33.53 in her first indoor season at Stanford.
We spoke with Whittaker on Monday ahead of her announcement to discuss her NIL deal.
First off, congrats on the On NIL deal! You’re the brand’s first-ever NIL athlete. What does that honor mean to you?
Juliette Whittaker: “It means a lot. I'm super excited to work with them. I was excited about the NIL opportunity and the fact that we can brand ourselves and make money in college while not having to give up the NCAA experience. Especially because I've loved my first year and I wouldn't want to be done with it just yet. It’s just a cool experience to get to have.”
This year you had some PR’s during the indoor season and outdoor season–what stood out to you as your freshman year highlight?
“I think I have to go with the DMR and indoor. Relays are always so special just having a team behind me when we’re working together to reach a goal. We were just so excited.” We talked to so many alums from Stanford and a lot of them were like, ‘Man, we tried to win the DMR when we were there, but we got second’–there were so many times that Stanford got second. I was so excited to break that curse and come away with the win. It was just such an exciting moment and honestly, that whole indoor experience was just amazing and stands out a lot for my freshman year.”
What was different about training at Stanford compared to what you did in high school? Everyone saw your success in high school and sometimes it takes an adjustment period to adapt to the college system.
“For the most part, it was pretty similar, but I would say my high school training was a lot more volume and mileage. At Stanford, I feel like I've been doing a lot more speed and more intensity in workouts. My mileage isn't nearly as high as it was in high school. My long runs aren't nearly as high. So I’m definitely focusing on my speed, which I think has helped a lot in my 400m and even in the 800m and mile.”
Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.