Following a breakout freshman season, quarterback Ken Seals has established himself as the face of the Vanderbilt Commodores for the foreseeable future.
“I talked to Ken and the Seals family about this the week that NIL became a thing and just said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea and we’d love to use Ken. We don’t know what that’ll look like, but let’s put our heads together and come up with something,’” VandySports.com publisher Chris Lee told the Post.
“…We’re just trying to leverage this as a business opportunity for the site and also try to help a guy grow his brand — who frankly has a really good brand. [This] is why we picked him as the first guy to do this with.”
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
As part of the partnership, Seals will appear weekly on the VandySports.com podcast, which can be streamed on the 440 Sports Network, with appearances during both fall camp and spring practice as well.
Lee said the site is even looking at expanding its YouTube channel with Seals-specific content and potentially some on-site shows at restaurants around the city to allow fans a chance to interact with the ‘Dores starting QB.
“Jumping on an opportunity like this to connect with fans is really special, and I’m really looking forward to where this can go,” Seals said on the VandySports.com podcast.
Lee stated that once NIL legislation was passed and approved by the NCAA, he knew that Seals was the perfect player to be the site’s first venture into the NIL business. But aside from the financial benefit he stands to gain, Seals also gets something few college-aged athletes obtain from a degree alone: real-life business experience.
“I told him, ‘Don’t just look at this for the money we’re going to pay you but as an opportunity to build your brand,’’ Lee added. “You see a lot of athletes [when they’re done playing] get into sports media. So, this was an opportunity to get experience with that ... negotiating a business deal for yourself. College shouldn’t just prepare you for your career in terms of your degree and a book education; it’s the experience in doing things you can do in real life.”
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_