SXSW Panel Featuring Natalie Tindall and Bijan Robinson

This year at SXSW, Moody has two great representatives speaking on a featured panel. Bijan Robinson and Natalie Tindall will be speaking on the future of NIL deals and the branding of athletes. This panel will also include Craig Allen, the Chief Creative Officer of CALLEN, the creative agency responsible for Bijan Mustardson as well as many other major clients. Bryan Burney, a marketing manager at Athletes First will also be featured. 

As the somewhat new waters of NIL deals and paying college athletes are continuously explored, hearing from these industry experts and Robinson will be interesting to hear from.  

Robinson is one of the most popular athletes at the University of Texas, and he has marketed himself impeccably during his time at UT. He attends almost every sports game of any team he possibly can, he is always riding around campus on an electric scooter and is constantly interacting with his community. Whether or not these things are intentional, they have all contributed to his huge presence and his successful brand presence on campus. He currently has the fourth-highest NIL valuation in college football at $1.8 million, however, it is unknown how much he has earned from his mustard business, so he is likely worth more.

Tindall is the Director of the Stan Richards Advertising and Public Relations School here at UT and she has many accolades being involved in many Diversity Equity and Inclusion programs including; co-director for the Institute of Public Relations Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Head of the Public Relations Division for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the Public Relations Society of America. She has also written a multitude of books and articles regarding the Public Relations and Advertising industries. With years of education experience, Natalie will hopefully bring a more scholastic perspective to this panel as she is not directly involved with these deals. 

Since 2021, when NIL deals were first allowed, the market has sky-rocketed for athletes. There have been advertising opportunities, sponsorships, creative ventures like Bijan Mustardson, and more. Some of the largest NIL deals yet have gone to Texas Longhorns, including Quinn Ewer’s partnership with Wrangler, and Robinson’s partnership with Lamborghini Austin where he got to drive a Lamborghini off the lot. Other athletes that have found great success include University of Oklahoma quarterback General Booty. He has created a line of clothing and other merchandise playing off his slightly absurd name. Many of these athletes have taken deals based on their names, including the University of Nebraska wide receiver Decoldest Crawford partnering up with an Air Conditioning company, and 12 players with the last name Reese getting a deal with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. These twelve players are known as “Team Reese”. 

College athletes' lives have changed since the institution of NIL deals. Being able to profit from their likeness and name has allowed every athlete to get a head start on their futures and provided so many opportunities for these players. 

With the combination of industry experts and an extremely successful athlete, this panel will be eye-opening. This market is only getting started, and hearing from one of the highest-grossing athletes in the NIL will be a great way to learn about how this uncharted industry works.

Alex Floreano
Sydney White
Elain Yao
Graphic Creator