When it comes to college athletics, the biggest stars often go on to sign lucrative endorsement deals and contracts with major companies. These contracts can be worth millions of dollars and can make these athletes some of the most recognizable names in the world of sports.
Here are some of the biggest college athlete contracts in recent years:
1. Zion Williamson – $75 million with Nike
Zion Williamson, a former basketball player at Duke University, signed a seven-year, $75 million deal with Nike in 2019. Williamson was the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft and is considered one of the most exciting young players in the league.
2. Johnny Manziel – $19.5 million with Nike
Former Texas A&M football star Johnny Manziel signed a multi-year deal with Nike in 2014 that was worth a reported $19.5 million. Manziel was a Heisman Trophy winner and a first-round draft pick, but his professional career was short-lived.
3. Reggie Bush – $12.5 million with Adidas
In 2006, former USC football player Reggie Bush signed a reported $12.5 million endorsement deal with Adidas. Bush was a standout player in college and went on to have a successful career in the NFL.
4. Bryce Harper – $9 million with Under Armour
Former baseball player Bryce Harper signed a 10-year, $9 million deal with Under Armour in 2011. Harper played for the College of Southern Nevada before being selected first overall in the 2010 MLB draft.
5. Michael Phelps – $5 million with Speedo
While not technically a college athlete, Michael Phelps was a swimmer at the University of Michigan before embarking on his Olympic career. In 2015, Phelps signed a new deal with Speedo that was reportedly worth $5 million.
These contracts show just how valuable college athletes can be to companies looking to reach a young and engaged audience. While not every athlete will go on to sign deals worth millions of dollars, those who do can set themselves up for financial success both during and after their playing careers.