The Florida Panthers were looking to sign an endorsement deal with a female athlete from Florida Atlantic University, but instead of choosing one, they decided to make the offer to more than 200 athletes. On Wednesday, the Panthers announced they will sign any eligible FAU female athlete that would like an endorsement deal.
College athletes are now able to benefit from their name, image and likeness, making these endorsements possible.
Panthers chief strategy officer Sam Doerr explained why they decided to go with over 200 female athletes rather than just choose one.
“There are a lot of businesses out there that are doing deals with full teams, but they’re all on the men’s side of things. And we said, ‘Why not do that on the female side of things?’ We talked about basketball and a couple other sports at FAU, then decided we didn’t want to leave anyone out and said we’d just make the offer to everybody.”
The athletes that accept the endorsement will also be invited to Panthers games. They will engage with the team’s social media followers and take home some team apparel as well.
Earlier this year the Panthers became the first pro team to sign a college athlete as an endorser, making a deal with Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King.
The deals will be conducted through Dreamfield, a company King co-founded.
Doerr says the team is ready for all 200 athletes to sign.
“We talked about this from Day 1,” Doerr said. “We really, truly believe there is a market out there for female athletes. We’ve got 200 athletes we can work with in different ways and grow the brand. And at the very least, as a community member, we feel really positive about the impact we’ll be able to have with a school right up the road.”
The Panthers are the first professional major sports team to make an offer like this