Soon, you might be able to get a “Paige Buckets” t-shirt. Or hat. Maybe even joggers.
And Paige Bueckers will be able to get paid for being the best player in the country.
With college athletes now allowed to capitalize on their name, image and likeness, UConn sophomore Paige Bueckers filed a trademark application for her nickname on July 13. If approved, she’ll be able to exclusively produce a Paige Buckets line of athletic wear such as “shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats and caps, athletic uniforms,” according to the trademark application.
Some estimates projected that Bueckers could make up to six figures off endorsements alone. When she spoke with reporters in early July, the Huskies’ star player slow-played what her involvement might look like.
“I’m gonna be honest, I haven’t really talked to a whole lot of people about it,” she said. “I just feel like once I’m mentally ready for all this stuff to start happening, then I’ll start with it,” she added later. “But I’m not really like in a rush to get things started.”
When July 12 came around — the first day UConn athletes were allowed to begin any NIL-related work — Bueckers endorsed Vintage Drip Co.
Looks like Paige Bueckers has made her first endorsement.— Daniel Connolly (@DanielVConnolly) July 12, 2021
Today’s the first day UConn athletes can begin capitalizing on NIL pic.twitter.com/RekdaMadhL
Bueckers isn’t the only UConn player taking advantage of this opportunity. Azzi Fudd had her own clothing line that went to charity, though she said she needed to take the website down after arriving in Storrs. While the freshman plans on putting it up again, it doesn’t appear to be live at the moment.
Fudd also hosted a basketball clinic to benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation for research into Alzheimer’s Disease. Similarly, Saylor Poffenbarger held a camp for middle school girls in her hometown after returning from the summer session at UConn.
There are no shortage of avenues for UConn’s players to make money under the new rules. Given the immense popularity of UConn women’s basketball, these players have tremendous marketing value for local and national businesses alike. Plus, given all of the gender disparities we have witnessed, it’s finally a change in college athletics that benefits a wider range of athletes, including those in women’s sports.