WWE recently announced that the company is launching an NIL program that promises to provide a pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.
The announcement was accompanied by a quote from WWE Executive Vice President, Global Talent Strategy and Development Triple H, which reads:
“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.”
Speaking with Fast Company, Triple H explained that the collegiate athletics is a great place to look for the next superstar as you can find out if athletes would fit in at WWE before they’ve even completed their studies.
Explaining how WWE recruitment has changed over the years, Triple H said:
“We immediately saw it as an amazing recruiting tool for us because it allows us to show athletes a path to WWE, and engage with them in a way where they can learn more about it, we can learn more about them, all while working together, and finding out if it’s a good fit before they’re even finished college, and before they need to make any decisions about what they’re going to do in that next stage of their life.”
“In my generation, and even more recently, you sort of had to know someone. We’ve put a lot of effort into recruiting athletes and finding athletes to let them know WWE is a potentially lucrative opportunity for them if they’re interested and passionate about it.”
At a recent tryout, Triple H was impressed by shot-putter Isaac Odugbesan. Explaining how NIL deals might range, The Game said:
“When we were done with the tryout, I was like, ‘Great let’s bring this kid in now,’ but it turned out he was still in school. That happened right around NIL, so we put a deal together, and he’ll be way ahead of the curve because he’ll be working on a lot of stuff while he’s in school.
“The deals might range from the lower end, which would still help them make ends meet while at school. Of course, if you’re bringing an Olympic gold medal to the table, it’s a different conversation.”
WWE will unveil the first class of NIL partnerships through the program in the coming weeks.