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The Brady Effect: Tom Brady changes the game with new NIL signees

Tom Brady will likely go down in history as the NFL’s greatest quarterback. He’ll retire with the most Super Bowl appearances and rings. He’ll also leave the game holding many records. At this point, he didn’t need to do anything to enhance his legend. Brady etched that in stone already.

Then something special happened on Thursday morning.

On his Instagram page, Tom Brady revealed the first lineup of athletes for his apparel line, BRADY. The new brand of clothing launch on January 12th, 2022. Per his page, the new brand will gear toward active and lifestyle clothing.

Pretty cool, right? After all, Tom Brady is a fashionable guy. And his wife is supermodel, Giselle Bündchen. So for him, having a clothing line is right up his alley. However, that’s not even what makes this special.

What makes the launch of BRADY special is the lineup of athletes for the brand’s campaign. He looked at the future. He went tapped college athletes. And he did so by signing them to NIL deals (name, image, likeness).

“I’m proud to partner with this lineup of NCAA and newly drafted athletes for the first BRADY campaign,” Brady wrote on his Instagram page. “These hardworking and driven players embody the spirit and ethos in which this brand was founded. From my fellow Michgan Men Cade McNamara and Andrew Fenty to Shedeur Sanders [Jackson State], Jermaine Samuels [Villanova], and more. I’m excited for the world to first see BRADY on the next generation of superstars.”

Several other athletes that will represent BRADY are Julian Reese (Maryland), George Pickens (Georgia), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Jack St. Ivany (Boston College), and Patrick Zahraj (UCLA). Henry Davis of the Pittsburgh Pirates is the lone professional athlete for the BRADY brand currently.

Bravo, Tom Brady, Bravo!

He didn’t add any current superstars, which he easily could have. After all, he’s Tom Brady. Most athletes would do a lot to represent his brand. He used his influence and power to put the spotlight on the future.

For starters, going back to his Alma mater, Michigan, and signing McNamara and Fenty is a nice touch. Michigan Football already has a deal with Michael Jordan’s, JORDAN brand, being the first football team to don the iconic Jumpman logo. To now have Tom Brady in the fold and be able to pitch potential NIL deals with him will go a long way in recruiting. It also helps the BRADY brand that Michigan is competing in the college football playoffs. With its official launch two days after the National Championship, it would be shocking if McNamara or Fenty didn’t don the BRADY brand during media appearances.

Then there’s the signing of Deion Sanders son, Shedeur.

Signing Sanders, who attends Jackson State, where his father coaches, is a big deal. As most know, Jackson State University is an HBCU, a historically black college, and university. Without a doubt, this is uncommon based on recent NIL deals. Most involved athletes attending PWIs, predominantly white institutions. For Tom Brady to ink Sanders to the BRADY brand could sway more students at HBCUs to earn these deals. Now Sanders’ case is different. Many consider his father, Deion, the greatest NFL cornerback ever. And I’m sure the respect between Brady and Sanders is there.

However, he did win the FCS National Freshman of the Year award for his 2021 season. Sanders passed for 3,056 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only six interceptions. He led Jackson State to an 11-1 record. Due to his outstanding season, Sanders and his team will play against South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl.

At this time, it remains to be seen if more athletes will join Tom Brady’s new line in the near or distant future. For the first lineup, though, it’s a great and unique look.

Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.

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