November 29, 2021 

Paige Bueckers becomes first NCAA student-athlete to sign NIL deal with Gatorade

'I know this is just the beginning of our partnership and can’t wait to get to work with Gatorade to drive impact in the community and on the women’s game'

Paige Bueckers is getting paid, thanks to her new multi-year partnership with Gatorade, which the company announced Monday. The UConn star and last year’s John Wooden Award winner is the first college athlete in any sport to partner with the energy drink brand.

This is Bueckers’ second major NIL deal, after signing a deal with StockX, a footwear and apparel marketplace. Bueckers is one of the most followed college athletes on social media, with over 930,000 followers on her Instagram alone, and over 330,000 on TikTok and over 56,000 on Twitter. Her post announcing the StockX partnership received over 200,000 likes.

In 2020, Bueckers won the Gatorade High School Player of the Year Award, and she said it was “truly surreal” to now be partnering with the brand. “I know this is just the beginning of our partnership and can’t wait to get to work with Gatorade to drive impact in the community and on the women’s game.” 

She joins fellow women athletes Serena Williams, Sydney McLaughlin and Elena Delle Donne as part of Gatorade’s expanding profile in women’s sports.

“As a former Gatorade Player of the Year and one of the top college athletes playing today, Paige Bueckers is the perfect addition to the Gatorade Family,” said Jeff Kearney, Gatorade’s global head of sports marketing. “From her electrifying performances on the court to fueling change off of it, Paige exemplifies everything it means to be a Gatorade athlete, and partnering with her is a statement to the next generation of our continued commitment to women in sport.”

Bueckers led UConn in scoring, assists and steals last year as a freshman; earning both the Big East Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards in addition to AP Player of the Year and the John Wooden Award. She also claimed the ESPY award for best college athlete in women’s sports, a fan-voted honor. 

Written by Gabriela Carroll

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