Prior to a few years ago, the rules governing college sports prohibited athletes from being paid for the use of their names or images, but there have been instances of “gifts” sliding under the radar to some students over the years. Athletes can now take advantage of sponsorship dollars in broad daylight, however, which is how an organization is giving away a Ram 1500 pickup truck to every scholarship athlete on the University of Utah football team.
Division 1 college football teams have a maximum of 85 scholarship players.
For the Win 360 (FTW 360) signed a deal to provide a 2024 Ram 1500 Big Horn pickup for every scholarship athlete on the team — the organization says it had ordered almost 100 trucks. The students need to maintain a good driving record and be willing to promote FTW 360 to participate, and they must keep their scholarship and be eligible to play to keep the truck.
The deal, which is taking place under the NCAA’s new Name, Image, and Likeness policy, came about after Utah signed on to use FTW 360’s streaming app for its games. FTW 360 is leasing the trucks for the athletes and will pay for insurance for the duration.
FTW 360 said the trucks are managed by a third-party fleet company and underwritten by private donors. At around $50,000 a pop, that’s $5 million worth of trucks, though the final leasing costs will likely add up to much less than that.
Though noteworthy, this deal isn’t quite as impressive as some of the numbers thrown at individual athletes since the rules change. Bryce Young, a former quarterback at Alabama and current NFL quarterback in North Carolina, is rumored to have earned almost $1 million in endorsements. Others, such as LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, have grabbed major attention with massive social media followings. She’s already seen deals with EA Sports, American Eagle, and GrubHub, and is estimated to have earned more than $2 million in just the last two years.