Stanford’s Rachel Heck becomes first Nike Golf NIL Athlete
On May 12, Stanford University sophomore Rachel Heck announced that she has signed the first ever Nike Golf NIL (Name Image and Likeness) deal. The 3rd ranked amateur in the world announced the exciting news on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, writing, “Just Did It. So excited and honored to be the first NIL @NikeGolf athlete. I’ve always dreamed of being part of this family.”
As of June 2021, NCAA student athletes like Heck were permitted to profit off of their name, image, and likeness. The landscape surrounding these deals is still uncharted, yet many high-profile golfers were quick to take advantage of the rule change before the 2022 season.
Heck, who won the 2021 NCAA individual championship as a freshman, has secured several high profile NIL deals in addition to the latest Nike Golf news. The amateur golf star has commitments with Ping, Stifel Financial, Six Star Pro Nutrition and Whistle Sports. Excel Sports helps manage her NIL representation.
The sophomore’s announcement comes as the No. 1 ranked Stanford women’s team gears up for their 12th consecutive NCAA Championship run in Scottsdale, Arizona. According to Cardinal coach Anne Walker, Heck has been battling a non-COVID related illness for the past several weeks. She played in the first round of the NCAA Regional, shooting a four-over-par 75, but withdrew for the remaining rounds. Heck is set to join a stacked Team USA roster at the 42nd Curtis Cup this summer at Merion Golf Club.