Bentonville-based retailer Sam’s Club announced Tuesday (Sept. 14) that it’s leveraging new NCAA NIL (name, image and likeness) guidelines by offering $10,000 each to 10 student-athletes across all NCAA divisions.
In a news release, the company said it decided on four individuals already and asks the public to vote via TikTok on the remaining six members of the team.
The four selected for the inaugural team are:
- UCF women’s track & field student-athlete Samieryah Bradwell
- Georgia State football student-athlete Sam Pinckney
- UCLA gymnast Samantha Sakti
- SMU women’s soccer student-athlete Sam Estrada.
Notice a trend? Sam’s Club says it’s seeking athletes who exemplify sportsmanship, passion and value the power of teamwork, much like Sam’s Club’s founder, Sam Walton. But that’s not the only thing the athletes must have in common — they must also share the name Sam.
“College athletics is a natural fit for Sam’s Club, which offers game day essentials — no matter the sport — including tailgating must-haves for your gameday spread, seasonal collegiate gear, electronics and more,” Megan Crozier, chief merchant at Sam’s Club, said in a statement. “Supporting these athletes gives us a chance to connect with members in a new way, support students and rally behind many under-represented collegiate sports. It’s a win-win.”
This is the first time Sam’s Club has leveraged TikTok to launch a contest. It says the social media platform is an ideal fit for the program, helping Sam’s Club reach a younger demographic in a highly engaging way.
Additional details about the program can be found at this link.