Sports

King, Corral, Mertz sign deal with card company

A trio of star college quarterbacks announced Wednesday that the three will soon start selling authorized memorabilia to take advantage of new name, image and likeness rules that allow college players to make money while in school.

Miami’s D’Eriq King, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz signed a partnership deal this week with Panini, a memorabilia and trading card company. The players plan to sell footballs, helmets and other items while also appearing at public signing events.

Under pressure from impending state laws, the NCAA changed its rules on July 1, allowing its athletes for the first time to sell the rights to their names, images and likenesses without losing eligibility. Dozens of athletes have struck deals to endorse companies in the first month of a new era in college sports.

“NIL has created an opportunity for us to work with college student athletes in a new way,” Panini America CEO Mark Warsop said in a news release Wednesday. “…Starting our relationship with these athletes under NIL is just the first step in what will be a very long partnership with us as these players compete on the collegiate football field and make their way to becoming athletes that play at the professional level.”

Panini says it plans to create trading cards for current college athletes in the near future. The company has created cards in the past that feature images of former college athletes from their time at school, but NCAA rules prohibited them from working with current players until this summer.

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