UConn star Paige Bueckers’ new NIL deal targets student food insecurity

MINNEAPOLIS – UConn women’s basketball sophomore Paige Bueckers has a lovely new name, picture, and agreement to address student food insecurity.

Bueckers, 2021 national player of the year, will be the first student-athlete brand ambassador for the Chegg education platform. Bueckers and Chegg.org, the nonprofit arm of Chegg, have teamed up with hunger relief company Goodr to host a Saturday pop-up grocery market in Minneapolis, near the Bueckers’ hometown, that will grow 6,000 free meals.

The Bueckers and Huskies are here for the Finals, where they’ll meet Stanford on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the national semifinals.

After bursting into the national scene last year, the Bueckers missed 19 games this season with a knee injury before returning at the end of February to help the Huskies progress to their 14th consecutive Finals.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Edina, Minnesota native Bueckers told ESPN in an email about being able to do this in her hometown. “Being in a position to give back to a community that has given me so much, especially not knowing how long I can stay here on the field with my team, it’s truly satisfying. But that’s just it. is the first step.”

The sophomore guard hopes to open free Goodr groceries permanently on school and college campuses. According to Chegg, 32% of college students in the US have been food insecure since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m really lucky to have grown up with food on the table,” Bueckers said. “Today, I want to make sure I’m sharing the opportunities I have and the resources I have with those who may need it. I have many privileges and I have a responsibility to share. “

As one of the top beneficiaries of the new NIL legislation and policies enacted over the summer, Bueckers previously announced deals with StockX, Gatorade and Cash App, and filed a trademark application for phrase “Paige Buckets” for use on sportswear.

According to Opendorse data posted on Axios, Bueckers — who have nearly 1 million followers on Instagram — have the highest estimated social media post value ($62,900) of both the male and female Sweet 16 athletes. , while a different estimate from Opendorse cited in the Wall Street Journal estimates Bueckers could make $1 million per year from NIL opportunities.

Bueckers had previously said she would be “completely focused on basketball” and not signing any NIL deals during the tournament. Lindsay Colas, a Bueckers representative at Wasserman, recently told Business Insider that “whatever you see now is pre-signed.”

The star has sought to incorporate social and equity components into her dealings and recently founded the Paige Bueckers Foundation.

“My goal has always been to use my platform to raise the bar and shine my light on others,” Bueckers said. “For me, the opportunity to build a business while playing in college has always been about the change I can make, and this partnership is a great example of that.”

https://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/33638021/uconn-star-paige-bueckers-new-nil-deal-takes-aim-food-insecurity-students UConn star Paige Bueckers’ new NIL deal targets student food insecurity

Luke Plunkett

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