Global entertainment company, WWE has announced the launch of a new Name, Image, and Likeness program “to recruit and develop potential future Superstars.” WWE is known primarily as a producer of professional wrestling, but the organization has also ventured into other areas including film, American football, and consumer products. WWE is calling its new NIL program “Next In Line™.” The effort will be a talent development process that creates collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.
In a released statement, WWE Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy and Development, Paul Levesque says “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.”
All athletes who enter into partnerships with WWE will gain access to the organization’s state-of-the-art performance center in Orlando, Florida. Participants will gain access to resources and instruction that includes media training, brand building, community relations, and live event promotion. Upon completion of the NIL program, select athletes may be offered a WWE contract.
WWE created it’s first NIL deal with heavyweight freestyle wrestler Gable Steveson, a University of Minnesota student-athlete who won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.