How cool would it be to have your own pizza?
As you guys know, I’m a loyalist to the Miami Hurricanes, but man, I have a lot of admiration for what’s going on in Columbia right now at the University of Missouri.
Here in the name, image and likeness (NIL) era, schools and their athletic departments (in collaboration with their fanbases) are going all out to bring in as much money as possible, to maximize their sports programs as much as possible. For Missouri, that’s their Every True Tiger Foundation, which is “the preferred NIL collective of Mizzou Athletics.”
Along with bringing in funding, Every True Tiger also creates partnerships with businesses between their brand and Mizzou’s athletes, which helps put money into the latter’s pockets as well.
And one incredibly cool endorsement deal has come out of this, one of the coolest that you can get — a frozen pizza.
Every True Tiger has partnered with defensive back Ennis Rakestraw Jr., defensive back Kris Abrams-Draine and linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper (three players who decided to return for their senior season instead of leaving for the NFL) on their own frozen pizza. It has each of their photos on the pizza, and if that isn’t cool enough, each player gets a cut out of every single pizza sold.
Speaking of the $7.99 pie that you can only find around Columbia, it’s a premium seven-cheese blend with pepperoni, sausage and bacon. (Dang, I’m hungry) And to make it pop even more, it has some swagged out packaging — designed by Craig Swoboda — to lay your eyes on before you feast on your delicious Italian slice of heaven.
Here’s a look, as well as Rakestraw buying his own pizza in a move that I would totally do:
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) July 5, 2023
Had to get it😎 pic.twitter.com/I6wS6f4Q32
— Ennis Rakestraw Jr (@EnnisRakestraw) June 30, 2023
Man, what it must feel like to be an athlete — especially in today’s world.
These modern day kids get to go straight from high school hype to cashin’ checks in college, to cashin’ even bigger checks when they get to the pros. And if getting paid to play sports isn’t cool enough, they also get their own frozen pizza. And not to mention the other endorsement deals that have been done like sneakers, commercials and the countless creative NIL deals. I still can’t get over Hendon Hooker’s flashy mustard Air Force 1’s. (RELATED: Damian Lillard Incoming? Celtics Reportedly Let Grant Williams Walk, Potentially Setting Up Huge Trade With Portland)
It must be nice … it must be nice …
Real talk, though.