Heaven Hamling becomes first Bison female athlete to benefit from name, image, likeness ruling

Story courtesy of inforum.com

It’s doubtful Heaven Hamling’s car will be dirty for at least the next year. The North Dakota State women’s basketball player became the first Bison female athlete to sign an endorsement deal with a local company.

She’ll be creating social media content for Silverstar Car Wash.

“Get their brand out there,” Hamling said.

Silverstar is new to the area and plans on building 10 locations in Fargo. The NCAA opened the door to name, image, likeness compensation last month, with student-athletes getting a major victory by an unanimous Supreme Court ruling.

Although mostly pertaining to high-major, visible schools that are part of national television contracts, benefits are starting to filter down to mid-major schools like NDSU.

“It’s been fun to work with Heaven on this partnership,” said Andrea Vetos, regional manager for Silverstar. “We’re impressed with her as a student-athlete and believe she is representative of the Silverstar brand.”

Vetos called it a “groundbreaking” agreement. The company has also signed student-athletes in Iowa and South Dakota.

“I’ve taken a few marketing classes and now as the world is changing, we’re constantly on our phones looking at social media,” Hamling said.

Hamling, a junior from Grand Rapids, Minn., led the Bison in scoring last year at 13.1 points per game. She transferred to NDSU from Stephen F. Austin (Texas) in 2019, but had to sit out that season because of NCAA rules.

She’s a construction management major who will be getting a tour of Silverstar construction sites this week.

“They’ll give me the rundown,” she said. “I’ve talked to their team about how they give back to the communities and charities they do so that’s really cool, too.”

Silverstar was founded in 2010 and is a privately-held company. It is based in Sioux Falls, S.D. The first Fargo location is scheduled to open next February.

Hamling said the NDSU athletic department has specific rules on what she can and cannot do with name, image, likeness. For one, she is not allowed to wear any North Dakota State apparel or logos when promoting Silverstar.

It was Silverstar who reached out to her this summer to start the connection. She got a direct message on Instagram asking her if she would be interested. Hamling has about 1,900 followers on Instagram and also plans on using her Facebook and TikTok platforms.

“Heaven is interested in being a project manager in the construction industry,” Vetos said, “so if Heaven does not end up playing basketball professionally, she may be helping Silverstar build out car washes throughout the Midwest.”