March Madness Breakout Star Jack Gohlke Shares NIL Experience

Oakland sharpshooter details whirlwind month, TurboTax partnership
Mar 21, 2024; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oakland Golden Grizzlies guard Jack Gohlke (3) shoots the ball during the second half in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena.
Mar 21, 2024; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oakland Golden Grizzlies guard Jack Gohlke (3) shoots the ball during the second half in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena. / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

As one of the breakout stars of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, Oakland guard Jack Gohlke's life has certainly changed during the madness of March. As soon as the buzzer sounded on the No. 14 seed Golden Grizzlies' upset of No. 3 seed Kentucky - in which Gohlke poured in 32 points on 10 three-pointers - the graduate transfer from Division II Hillsdale College was now a national sensation.

With this newfound notoriety across the country - and his well-documented meteoric Instagram follower growth, now over 75K - NIL opportunities started coming his way quickly, in between the first and second rounds of the tournament. And while a group of friends with "real jobs" - per Gohlke - were answering his NIL emails and combing through deal opportunities, he was focused on continuing Oakland's run in the tournament.

Less than 24 hours after Gohlke’s breakout performance, he collaborated with Campus Ink's NIL Store to launch an apparel collection, celebrating his all-time performance against Kentucky. As more deal opportunities flooded his email and direct messages, he wanted to continue to find authentic partnerships. When TurboTax came calling for Gohlke, there couldn't have been a more perfect fit.

"There was a lot coming at me at first," Gohlke told Sports Illustrated. "To be honest, I was excited when TurboTax reached out. As an accounting major and MBA student now that is a company that I understand what they do and how they are helping people with making tax filing easier - it is such a complicated thing. It just made sense for me and I wanted to take advantage of that opportunity.

While he filmed a few content pieces for a few brands from the team hotel in between rounds, the conversation around the TurboTax deal took on a life of it's own.

With tax deadlines approaching and Gohlke’s profile continuing to grow - even after Oakland's run ended in the second round againt Final Four team North Carolina State in the second round - the opportunities for further collaboration were too good to pass up for TurboTax. Heading into Final Four weekend, Gohlke filmed additional content with the brand, tapping into his "Accountant" nickname.

"Luckily, the first deal we did blew up because of all those accounting jokes about me," Gohlke added. "We are able to partner continuously now. I'm excited to to work with them again, especially at the Final Four."

In addition to taking part in Thursday night's 3-point competition and skills challenge and Friday's All-All-Star game in Phoenix, Gohlke will appear at the Convention Center with TurboTax to talk taxes, meet fans and take photos.

But outside of the NIL partnership with TurboTax, they provided resources for Gohlke and other athletes to use to manage their own taxes. Their NIL Guide is a tool that the accounting major certainly appreciates but he wants to ensure that any and all student-athletes across the country know that they have access to this information as well.

"It's just funny," Gohlke added. "Because like two or three weeks ago, I wasn't thinking about my 'brand,' you know what I mean? I think with TurboTax, the plan moving forward is hopefully we can continue to work together and build this brand together because once all the initial buzz has gone away, you want to be more selective with partnerships. TurboTax is a great opportunity and, and it just fits really well."

In addition to TurboTax and Campus Ink's NIL Store, Gohlke has been able to collaborate with the likes of Buffalo Wild Wings, Rockin Protein and OOFOS, among other brands.

Since his tournament run came to an end - in addition to his NIL work - he has signed with a basketball agent and plans to continue to focus on basketball first and foremost, with hopes of NBA workouts, Summer League and other on-court opportunities in the future.

But for his NIL legacy and March Madness coming out party, he wants to be an example for the next athlete who finds themself in this situation in the future.

"My story has been so fast and it has gotten out there so quick," he said. "There will be more athletes like me in the future where next year they blow up and all of a sudden they don't know how to handle everything that is going on. One thing that TurboTax does a good job of is educating those student-athletes and helping them, whether it's with the deals they're making or down the line with the implications of those deals with taxes. So I'm hoping that I can be like the bridge for that and be the front-face person who can help athletes navigate the space because it almost seems like I was kind of the first one to experience it in this fast a fashion."

Whatever happens next for Gohlke, his name, on-court performance and fast NIL success will be etched in March Madness history.

Michael Ehrlich


Michael Ehrlich is a seasoned sports marketing executive with experience across the global sports brand, athlete representation, media and education sides of the business. The Founder and CEO of Playbook Marketing, Ehrlich consults with brands on all things NIL and athlete partnerships, advises student-athletes on their personal brand building endeavors and is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, the University of Southern California where he teaches a course on athlete communications and marketing. As a writer, his previous bylines include Boardroom, Business of College Sports, DIME Magazine and UPROXX, among others. You can follow him across social media at @MichaelEhrlich and reach out via