WWE Signs Wrestling Champion Gable Steveson To Its First NIL Marketing Deal

Olympic gold medalist and reigning NCAA wrestling champion Gable Steveson has signed an exclusive agreement with the WWE for his name, image and likeness rights, referred to as an NIL deal.

The NIL deal is a new rule allowing NCAA athletes to capitalize on their status and personalities without losing college eligibility. Previously, an athlete could not take part in advertising, profit from sales of his merchandise, or engage in paid promotional appearances, or receive other outside benefits without losing college eligibility. Some of the biggest stars of college sports potentially lost millions under such rules.

The new NIL rule, which started July 1, has already had a significant impact on collegiate sports, with some high school athletes coming to school earlier, and some seniors staying for an extra year. As of mid-summer, such prominent athletes as Alabama quarterback Bryce Young reportedly had deals in place worth $800,000, with offers pending that would put him over the $1 million mark.

Steveson has more than 60k Twitter followers and 335k on Instagram, giving him a huge platform for his activities. As part of his deal, Steveson will join the WWE roster while defending his NCAA title for the University of Minnesota.

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The heavyweight wrestler won an Olympic Games gold medal and is the reigning NCAA Division I National Champion.

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