The NCAA cleared the way for college student-athletes to begin profiting from their name, image and likeness (NIL) earlier this week, and Friday night, University of South Dakota volleyball player Brooklyn Bollweg became the first South Dakotan to sign a sponsorship deal, reaching an agreement with Silverstar Car Wash.
Per her contract, Bollweg created and published a sponsored post for the Silverstar brand Saturday morning on her Instagram and Facebook pages. Her post to Instagram had over 300 likes as of early Saturday afternoon. The regional carwash company has eight locations in the Sioux Falls area with two more under construction.
Specific terms of the agreement were not released.
“It’s a really cool opportunity for all the athletes in South Dakota,” said Bollweg, a junior defensive specialist for the Coyotes.
“There’s some great and respected talent coming out of South Dakota,” she continued. “For us to be able to promote Sioux Falls and local businesses like that is a really cool opportunity for not only us as athletes, but for the state of South Dakota and, of course, my hometown of Sioux Falls.”
There was some hesitancy on Bollweg’s part when a representative from Adrenaline Sports Marketing first messaged her about a potential sponsorship deal Friday afternoon — and understandably so. Up until Thursday morning, college athletes were not allowed to profit from their name, image or likeness, and had to be extremely careful about potential violations.
“Originally it felt so wrong,” said Bollweg.
She was initially unsure if she could even reply to the message, but after talking with her mom about the opportunity, she submitted the required Google form to the USD compliance office (the state of South Dakota does not have any NIL laws in place, so it is up to the individual schools to develop their own policies) and contacted USD compliance officer Jamie Oyen, who gave her the green light.
“It was nerve-wracking to be the first one to go through it,” Bollweg said. “I know there’s probably a lot of other people who are signing things and in the works of processes like this, but I don’t know if anyone did it this quick.”
By 6 p.m., Silverstar had a contract ready for Bollweg to review.
“I think they were really trying to be the first to sign a South Dakota athlete,” the Harrisburg High alum said. “That’s really good publicity for them. It all happened really fast.”
“Brooklyn will forever be known as a trailblazer for South Dakota athletes of the future,” Silverstar regional manager Andrea Vetos wrote in a statement. “Our Silverstar team members are proud to be a small part of local history.”