With recent changes in the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) law, we knew it wouldn’t be long before Tennessee’s players started making sponsored posts on social media.
One thought we didn’t consider, however? That Tennessee wide receiver Grant Frerking — who doubles as the CEO of multimillion-dollar Atlanta-based ground cover company Metro Straw — would sponsor posts by his own teammates for advertisements.
And yet, it’s already been done.
Fellow Vols wideout Velus Jones, Jr. and quarterback Brian Maurer have both posted about Metro Straw this morning, meaning that their sponsorship money is coming directly from Frerking’s pocket.
Jones made his post on Instagram, where he has 16,000 followers, while Maurer did so on Twitter, where he has 19,600 followers.
At a bare minimum, those numbers would generate 35,600 views for Frerking’s company. And that’s without factoring in retweets, likes or reposts.
The dynamic here is hilarious and wonderful at the same time, but such is the world in which we live now that NIL has achieved its rightful place in the college sports world.
Frerking has also started to reap benefits from his own influence. His first paid post was about Atlanta-based Capital City Home Loans, which is owned by a friend he played football with in high school. But his main role so far has been through Metro Straw.
You can read the full story about Frerking’s business ownership here via David Ubben of The Athletic.
While it’s been interesting to see different athletes pair with different companies so far, the duel dynamic for Frerking should only be more fun to watch as players’ reach expands.
Update: Since this morning, Frerking has announced that he’ll make an appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show this afternoon (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network) to discuss brand management and the changes that have taken place today across college athletics.
Photo credit: Tennessee Athletic Communications