WWE Launches New NIL Program for Recruiting Collegiate Athletes

WWE announced via a press release on Thursday that it has launched a new NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) program titled Next In Line that will focus on recruiting and developing collegiate athletes into becoming WWE Superstars. The release reads, "WWE today announced the launch of a groundbreaking NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program that will provide a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE. Following a historic new policy by the NCAA effective July 1, 2021, which ushered in the NIL era allowing college athletes the ability to monetize their name, image and likeness, WWE has constructed a comprehensive program to recruit and develop potential future Superstars. 

"Dubbed 'Next In Line,' the NIL program aims to enhance the talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds," the release continued. NCAA Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson was the first active collegiate athlete to sign a NIL deal with WWE earlier this year. 

The program will include access to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando as well as "resources across the organization including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations. Upon completion of the NIL program, select athletes may earn an exclusive opportunity to be offered a WWE contract." The first class of NIL partnerships will be announced by the company in the next few weeks.

Paul "Triple H" Levesque commented in the release by stating, "The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business. By creating partnerships with elite athletes at all levels across a wide variety of college sports, we will dramatically expand our pool of talent and create a system that readies NCAA competitors for WWE once their collegiate careers come to a close."


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