COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Mitchell Pehlke is a rising junior on the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team, but most people know him for his YouTube channel — a brand he’s been developing since his freshman year of high school.
Pehlke, just like thousands of other student athletes who have a large social media following, are primed to take advantage of the name, image and likeness era that began in college athletics last week.
“I just can’t wait to see what I can do with different brands,” Pehlke said. “It’s just going to open up a lot of doors.”
His YouTube channel has nearly 15,000 subscribers while his TikTok account has more than 19,000 followers. Now, all the videos he’s been making for fun are an opportunity to make some money and he’s already signed an endorsement deal with Degree Deodorant.
“Now it’s not just creating good content,” he said. “Now it’s creating good content and see if we can get a brand behind us or keep pushing the merchandise or cameos, lacrosse sections. There’s so many different ways athletes can monetize their name now.”
One of those athletes monetizing their name is Ohio State offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere who signed an endorsement deal with Flix CV.
“It’s not about the money,” Petit-Frere said. “It’s never been about the amount of money we can make in college or the amount of money someone can profit off themselves. It’s been more about having different avenues to express oneself.”
Expressing oneself like Pehlke does on YouTube and TikTok.
For decades, and in front of the Supreme Court two weeks ago, the NCAA fought NIL saying it would ruin amateurism in college sports and negatively affect student-athletes’ education. But Pehlke, just like the nine Supreme Court justices, disagreed with that argument.
“You know I’m at Ohio State to get an amazing education and secondly I’m there to play the best lacrosse I can and then thirdly is content,” Pehlke said. “It’s always been education, lacrosse, content and it’s not going to change.”
Pehlke started his YouTube page in high school along with a line of merchandise, which he’s already brought back as another revenue stream.