COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State began its fall football camp Wednesday and it’s the first season players can get paid for their name, image and likeness. Several Buckeyes are already taking advantage of the NIL era and they’re doing it by building their own brand with a Columbus-based company.
“Everything that I’ve worked for is just cashing in,” said senior defensive lineman Haskell Garrett. “You have some sort of impact on somebody or influence and I feel like that’s what I have and I feel like that’s a great representation of who I am on and off the field.”
Garrett created his brand, Impact by HG, with the help of NIL Management — a local agency that created a separate division when NIL began July 1.
“When this came up, we kind of positioned ourselves to take this on but really take it on in a different manner really focusing on brand,” said NIL Management co-founder Zach Beebe.
Players like senior defensive back Sevyn Banks say their decision to come to Ohio State, one of the biggest brands in all of sports, is helping their brand.
“Being at Ohio State is going to get you the best opportunity and I feel like across the country and just being here is a blessing,” said Banks who is the CEO of Se7vn. “Honestly if you’re here, you must be doing something right.”
Junior defensive lineman Zach Harrison, who launched The Zhone with the help of NIL Management, say being a Buckeye is an even bigger advantage for guys like him who are from Columbus.
“Being a Columbus guy who plays for Ohio State, the city loves you. The city is going to care for you, the city is going to ride for you and they’re going to support you,” said Harrison who graduated from Olentangy Orange High School. “Especially now having my own brand, I can start the foundation while I’m in college and grow my business in the future.”
That goal of growing a business, like senior linebacker Teradja Mitchell’s brand Above the Realm, lets athletes know they can still be successful even if they don’t play professionally.
“The main goal: I want to have brick and mortar stores all around the country obviously starting in my hometown Virginia Beach, Virginia and hopefully later on Columbus, Ohio,” said Mitchell who is majoring in fashion and design. “Obviously I have a lot of work to do to get to that point but with my hard work, sky’s the limit.”
NIL management is also working with OSU basketball players, including Kyle Young and Jimmy Sotos.