50 Years of Title IX: Triangle Female Athletes with NIL Deals
It’s been 50 years since Title IX – the Gender Equality Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational institutions – came into effect, and nearly a year since college athletes were able to take advantage of their name, image and likeness (NIL).
As varsity sports have continued to evolve since landmark legislation came into force in 1972 calling for equity in opportunities for women and men in college settings, here are five female varsity athletes from the Triangle who have benefited from the first year of the NIL era.
Duke’s Emily Cole
Cole, who is on Duke’s track and cross country teams, is taking full advantage of the NIL opportunities that have come her way over the past year. She is one of H&R Block’s 19 female partners in its “A Fair Shot” program. As part of the partnership, ta rising senior will work with H&R Block to help highlight the inequalities that female athletes face compared to their male counterparts.
With around 160,000 followers on TikTok and around 55,500 followers on Instagram, the Houston native has created a marketable brand, despite her sport’s lack of visibility, compared to other college programs like soccer and basketball. . Cole, who opened the 2021 season by setting a personal best in the 5K at the Adidas XC Challenge, is releasing a cookbook in September 2022.
UNC’s Tori Hansen
Hansen, a defender for the UNC football team, is represented by Hawker Family Sports & Entertainment for all NIL transactions. The Raleigh junior – who scored the game-winning goal for the Tar Heels against Washington in the second round of the NCAA Tournament – has partnered with Charlotte FC as one of their first two Varsity Athlete Ambassadors, along with Megan Bornkamp of Clemson. As an ambassador, Hansen promotes the Charlotte FC brand on multiple social media platforms. She also attends games to immerse herself in the fan experience and participates in camps organized by the team.
Duke’s Lexi Gordon
Gordon, a Duke Basketball grad student who led the Blue Devils by 3 points (49) last season, has a NIL deal with WWE. Through this partnership, Gordon has access to a plethora of resources across the company, from brand building to media training. The Blue Devils wing, which began its career at Texas Tech, also has deals with Urban Outfitters and Outback Steakhouse.
UNC’s Jamie Ortega
Ortega was the catalyst for the UNC national championship lacrosse team last season and made history when she signed an NIL deal with sports technology company Epoch Lacrosse. The former UNC forward and five-time All-American has used Epoch’s lacrosse sticks since her sophomore year in 2019, and in her final year of her college career, she was able to capitalize on her prolific career with the Tar Heels.
Through the partnership with Epoch Lacrosse, Ortega, winner of the 2022 National Lacrosse Player of the Year award, will help the company grow the sport, provide insights to consider for the company’s apparel line, and work with Epoch to promote its brand.
NC State’s Kai Crutchfield
Along with other Wolfpack athletes, Crutchfield is part of an NIL deal with Amedeo, a popular Italian restaurant, as a social media ambassador. The former NC State guard who helped lead the Wolfpack to the Elite Eight last season also runs his own denominational apparel line, Scripted Apprl. The clothing line sells a variety of relationship-based t-shirts.
This story was originally published June 23, 2022 6:35 a.m.