A popular clothing retailer is launching a marketing effort working with collegiate athletes.
American Eagle Outfitters has created the #AEAthleticDept program to work with student-athlete influencers, now that collegiate athletes can profit from their name, image and likeness following a change in NCAA rules that took effect July 1.
“Certainly the ruling that brands could work with NCAA athletes was game-changing,” CMO Craig Brommers told AdWeek. “At AE, our core audience is age 15 to 25, and college is an important part of that demographic.”
The retailer is launching the new partner program to coincide with the start of football season. Joining the brand are Kedon Slovis, a quarterback at the University of Southern California, and Auburn University’s Tank Bigsby, one of the most highly rated running backs at the college level.
American Eagle also scored Olivia Dunne, a gymnast at Louisiana State University who is the most followed college athlete on TikTok.
As soon as the NCAA changed its NIL rules, American Eagle immediately began receiving direct messages on social media from student-athletes who wanted to partner with the brand, which led to the creation of the program, according to the AdWeek report.
“There is a realness and authenticity to college athletes … that other influencers don’t have,” Brommers said.