Vanderbilt football's Cam Johnson signs NIL deal to benefit National Down Syndrome Society
All September proceeds will benefit the National Down Syndrome Society.
The shirts include Johnson's initials plus a representation of a lightning bolt indicating his speed and his jersey No. 7.
According to a release, Johnson first became involved through volunteering at a clinic for children with Down Syndrome hosted by former Commodore Zac Stacy. That experience prompted him to use the NCAA's new name, image and likeness rules to give back.
“The joy I found volunteering at the clinics mirrors that which I feel when I hit paydirt on Saturdays,” Johnson said in a release. “I hope these efforts are just the beginning and that others will follow suit in going the extra mile and making a difference in their communities.”
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Johnson said in the release that he saw NIL as a way to build relationships and define his purpose.
The most well-known NIL deals have been athletes chosen to promote a specific business on social media — such as Vanderbilt basketball star Scotty Pippen Jr. with chicken chain Raising Cane's.
But NIL rules also allow athletes to raise money for charity. Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller recently announced a similar deal as Johnson, selling branded gear to benefit children in Nicaragua.