With NIL on the rise in college athletics, the Virginia Cavaliers’ athletic department and its athletes are starting to make strides in athlete sponsorship as well. Most notably, UVA football’s quarterback and one of the school’s most well known athletes Brennan Armstrong has officially signed a deal with local McDonald’s franchises.
These franchises are owned by RAHE, Inc. which also has NIL involvement with the NIL “alumni driven collective” Cavalier Futures after announcing a partnership with Cav Futures back in March.
Armstrong’s partnership will come in a variety of forms including social media promotion, a celebrity sponsored meal a la Travis Scott’s “Cactus Jack Meal”, along with a relationship with Charlottesville’s Ronal McDonald House.
On his deal with McDonald’s, Armstrong said in a Cav Futures press release that “I am really grateful for this sponsorship opportunity,” and he is “especially looking forward to visiting the Ronald McDonald House this year,” as he found that “it was important to me to incorporate community engagement into my first major NIL deal.”
RAHE Inc.’s owner Rick Hendricks added in that “we were very intentional in how we went about this first NIL opportunity,” as they “wanted to create an experience that would benefit the athlete and be fun for UVA fans.
Hendricks added a personal anecdote, saying that “as a lifetime UVA football fan myself, it’s really exciting to partner with Brennan and we’re looking forward to working with him throughout the upcoming year.”
It’s exciting to see Armstrong get a deal with a national franchise like McDonald’s. UVA has been behind some other top Division One schools in terms of NIL involvement so this sponsorship is absolutely a step in the right direction. Additionally, the fact that this is also a community focused deal with Armstrong using this as an opportunity to give back via the Ronald McDonald house makes this a win-win-win.