The Path Seventh Son Took to Secure NILs with Ohio State Athletes

​Beer and sports have gone hand-in-hand since the start and seeing a favorite player hawking a macro beer is nothing new. Seventh Son in Columbus, Ohio — home of The Ohio State University​ — has taken advantage of the new “Name, Image and Likeness” rules the NCAA has allowed the past few years to develop a new relationship with the school by signing a group of ​student-athletes recently.​

​The brewery reached out to more than just the football or basketball teams though. Male and female track and field athletes in shot put and discus have joined a fencer, and softball, volleyball, and lacrosse players to round out the inaugural group.

“The scale is smaller but the athletes all have solid social media following and are super motivated to show that this type of sponsorship arrangement can make sense for us as a business as well as be something fun and different for them to participate,” explained Seventh Son co-owner, Collin Castore.

The following student-athletes make up some of the participating ambassadors:

In general, Castore said they looked for athletes who were over the age of 21 with 1,000-plus followers on Instagram or other social media outlets. They also asked the Ohio State NIL Office to help put out a call through a new student messaging system that has been developed.

READ MORE: How ​Jolly Pumpkin Carved ​Out a NIL Sponsorship Niche with College Athletes

“Not all students have signed onto the new system — though — or are aware of the opportunities,” Castore said. “Our marketing director and PR consultant also sorted through team rosters and sleuthed around Instagram to find good candidates.”

Each ambassador will work with Seventh Son monthly to publish social media content that creatively blends each athlete’s respective sport and the Seventh Son brand. ​

“We decided to do a blanket plan to keep it fair and simple for everyone,” Castore told Brewer about how they came up with agreements with each athlete. “In every case from fencing to shotput to softball, these students work so hard practicing six and seven days a week for hours each day. We did not want to pick favorites.”

There are a standard number of contracted numbers of posts per month and they are given a combination of cash, gift cards, and merchandise as compensation.

There are also very specific rules that the Ohio State NIL states that involve no pictures or promotions done on school property and no use of logos/trademarks.

“We can dress our athletes in scarlet and gray Seventh Son gear head to toe but no actual block O or Ohio State logo can be visible,” Castore explained. “The Ohio State Office of NIL has been excited to show that this can work and is very helpful in general. We both want to see that this can work and we both want to open the door for future opportunities for student-athletes.”

The brewery’s marketing and PR team is checking all the posts before they go out to make sure the content won’t get anyone into trouble.

The athletes also signed up for an app that tracks the reach of their posts and other general marketing metrics.

“Beer and athletes promoting beer has been a big part of ‘traditional’ beer advertising,” Castore said. “This version just seemed to make sense for us.

“We are a smaller brewery and don’t have the budget for pro sports endorsements and realized there is the same level of dedication, and talent is alive and well in these NCAA athletes.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *