This seems to be a first and an interesting move, to boot: the Stockton Ports (Low-A West) have signed an NIL (name, image, and likeness) contract with University of Pacific’s basketball player Pierre Crockrell II.
An NIL deal is a promotional deal made possible by NCAA rule changes this year, allowing college athlete to generate revenue, taking advantage of their own fame and accomplishment. They’re basically endorsement deals of sorts. Some college athletes, like UConn’s Paige Bueckers, have signed some pretty significant NIL deals with the likes of Gatorade, though most of the contracts and much of the revenue goes to college football players.
The Ports, it would appear, to be the first Minor League Baseball to reach a NIL deal with the college athlete to promote the team, especially on social media. (You can find him on Instagram as @pcrockwell.)
“We are excited to partner with Pierre in our efforts to strengthen our outreach in the community in a new and exciting way.” said Ports President Pat Filippone in a press statement. “Pierre cares deeply about, and is actively involved in, the Stockton community. This is another opportunity for him to develop the relationship in a broader manner. This partnership also enables the Ports and UOP to strengthen the bridge between our two institutions. In meetings with President Callahan, I am encouraged for the various items our organizations will work on together in 2022 and beyond.”
Crockrell II is a junior point guard at Pacific, leading the team last season in assists.
“I’m thankful to be the first college athlete to collaborate with the Ports and make a difference,” said Crockrell II in a press statement. “They value their players, staff, fans, and that’s something I love to see and stand by.
“Since I’ve come to Stockton, I quickly noticed the loyalty and engagement they get from their fan base,” he added. “I’m a big baseball fan and I saw the potential to cross market myself with the Ports.”