Arizona College Athletes Can Now Have Paid Sponsorships

By Matthew Casey, Bradley Roe
Published: Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 7:35am
Updated: Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:17am
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Seismic change has come to college sports as athletes in Arizona and across the country can now make money from sponsorships and endorsements.

Social media is expected to be a major factor in who cashes in. 

NCAA Division I college athletes in Arizona with the most Instagram followers are currently all men who play basketball or football.

A swimmer, tennis or volleyball player from any size school can profit too, if their social media accounts have loyal fans and reach niche audiences, said Alexis Prousis.

“Those 1,000 followers you have could be more beneficial than if you have half a million or a million,” she said.

Prousis is vice president of marketing for Blinkfire Analytics, an evaluator of sponsorships for leagues, athletes and others.

Roger Breum, marketing director for Hookit, a firm doing sponsorship analytics for brands in sports, said the best college football player isn’t always the best social media influencer. The trick now is to identify for clients the quality athletes who are also great brand ambassadors

"Hopefully, from my perspective, bring money to not just to your top tier programs but spread more evenly across college sports,” he said.

Breum said paying to use an Arizona student athlete’s name, image and likeness is a way for companies to reach the coveted early 20s and under demographic. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: The description of the company Hookit has been updated. 

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