Meet the college athlete who made S.D. marketing history

Story courtesy of SiouxFalls.Business

At 4 p.m., Brooklyn Bollweg saw the question in her Instagram direct messages.

Three hours later, the third-year USD volleyball player had a contract that made her the first collegiate athlete in South Dakota to sign a Name, Image and Likeness agreement, or NIL, allowing her to sponsor social media content for Silverstar Car Wash.

“It all happened pretty quick,” she said. “No one had talked about endorsement deals before that. We just assumed it was for bigger schools.”

But Silverstar saw an opportunity following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for student-athletes to share in revenue generated by their involvement with athletic programs.

“Brooklyn represents our brand very well, so it was natural to partner with her,” Silverstar regional manager Andrea Vetos said. “We’re proud to have been a small part of a historic opportunity, and we know she’s blazing a trail for South Dakota athletes of the future.”

Bollweg grew up in south Sioux Falls, graduated from Harrisburg High School and is in a program at USD where she’ll spend three years in undergraduate study and three years at the Knudson School of Law. She plans to become an attorney specializing in trust and estate law.

Growing up, she thought she’d become a collegiate soccer player but decided in the spring of her junior year that volleyball was her future sport of choice. She’s a defensive specialist on the USD team, which won the Summit League Championship earlier this year.

“At USD, the coaching staff was very family-like, and you could tell the culture on the team was more like a family than a business,” Bollweg said of her decision to play there. “That’s hard to find at Division I colleges, coupled with the fact that they had a really strong program to prepare me to become a lawyer and that they were a growing program on their way up.”

While her social media presence brings her followers behind the scenes of college and volleyball life, Bollweg never set out to use it for marketing.

“I never thought of social media as a business. It’s a way for my friends and family and people closest to me to stay updated on my life,” she said. “I post whatever I want.”

Helping share the Silverstar story came naturally, she said.

Bollweg’s family has had a Silverstar membership since she can remember learning how to drive in high school – back when she used to use it to keep her 2001 Pontiac Bonneville clean.

She now pulls out her unlimited pass any time she’s back in Sioux Falls, which is often, to shine up her 2015 Jeep Patriot.

“I go back every weekend to see my parents, and I’m really bad about washing my car myself, so I just drive through, and if I need a vacuum I’ll do that. I probably use the vacuum even more than the wash,” she said.

“If we go to the lake and get sand or dirt and rocks all over the back of the car, that’s one of my pet peeves, so you’ll definitely find me at Silverstar after that.”

Her first post for Silverstar was a timely one – a July 3 reminder not to start the holiday weekend with a dirty car. It was “liked” more than 450 times.

“It was definitely an eye-opener that smaller universities and athletes that aren’t as well-known have opportunities in the Name Image Likeness realm, so I think people were pretty excited about it,” Bollweg said.

Silverstar also plans to work with student-athletes with NIL agreements in other areas that the company serves.

“Our region is filled with outstanding athletes, and we’re excited this opportunity now exists for them,” Vetos said. “We’re looking forward to watching them help tell our story while we support them in return.”