By Citius Mag Staff
June 28, 2023
NCAA 5000m champion Parker Valby has signed an NIL deal with Nike and will continue running for the University of Florida next year. KIMA Athletics, the agency that is representing her, announced the signing.
What you need to know:
– Valby is coming off a redshirt sophomore season where she finished second at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and then raced just once during the indoor season before dealing with a leg injury. She raced sparingly during the outdoor season with just one race before she won the SEC 5000m title and then went on to win the NCAA Outdoor Championships earlier this month in Texas.
– Valby has a personal best of 15:20.10 from her runner-up finish at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She has run 15:25.03 this outdoor season.
– She is Nike’s first female track and field athlete signed to an NIL deal.
– As explained by Kimbia Athletics: “An NIL agreement is a contract which allows student-athletes to earn compensation for a brand leveraging their name, image and/or likeness through marketing or promotional endeavors. Introduced in 2021, they have allowed athletes in the NCAA to earn an income while continuing their collegiate career and studies.”
What Valby had to say about the deal:
“It’s obviously a positive for me, but as well, it’s nice that Nike and others see value in collegiate track and field, and to be one of the first is a real honor,” she said in a press release by Kimbia. “Also, the opportunity to earn an income while in school might be an incentive for some student-athletes to stay in the NCAA, which is good for the NCAA and the sport.”
“This deal allows athletes like myself to earn an income while pursuing a college degree and competing in the NCAA,” she added. “I love being part of a college team and representing my university, so for me it’s a real positive. Also, part of the agreement with Nike will allow me the opportunity to get involved with the local community, which is awesome.”
What other distance runners have NIL deals?
– NC State’s Katelyn Tuohy was the first star distance runner to land an NIL deal with a major sportswear company when she signed with Adidas last November.
– In March, Stanford’s Charles Hicks signed an NIL deal with Nike.
– NIL deals in track and field are still relatively new. The NCAA policy change took place in 2021 to allows student-athletes to profit from sponsorship opportunities via their name, image or likeness for marketing and promotional content. A few more track and field NIL deals are expected to be announced soon.
Citius Mag Staff