BIPOC Voices, Sports

Jordan Brand announces its first NIL deal, with Kiki Rice

We’re going to see amazing things from this duo.

words by: Kayla Carmicheal
Nov 10, 2022

Jordan Brand has announced its first NIL  (Name, Image, and Likeness) deal with UCLA women’s basketball point guard, Kiki Rice. The 5’11” freshman already has a number of accolades to her name — including being the Gatorade 2021-22 National Girls Basketball Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American. This deal is a huge landmark.


Why it matters

In 2021, the sporks marketing industry made a most historic change, and one that’s arguably been long overdue. Collegiate athletes are now (finally) allowed to make money from brand deals. After all, it’s common practice for athletes to be brand sponsors. Why not get paid along with their school for their influence?


“Being Jordan Brand’s first NIL athlete is an incredible milestone, and I think it’s a testament to the hard work I’ve put in and all the people around me who have helped me get to this point,” Rice says. “Signing with the Jordan Brand is another motivating factor for me to continue to work hard and achieve my goals.”


Of those goals, Jordan Brand and Rice will collaborate on ways to support the athlete’s passion of gender equality for female athletes.


“One of my biggest passions is gender equity, especially in sports,” she says. “Being an athlete, I experienced first hand a lot of inequity, and I think leveling the playing field between boys and girls at a young age is something that I’m really passionate about in terms of helping bridge the gap.”


Gender equality in sports is an ongoing issue, one that’s been going on since the initiation of college athletics. For example, in the ’70s, Title IX was enacted by the Department of Education. It requires schools to do many things, including giving “women athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions that receive federal funds, from elementary schools to colleges and universities.” Jordan Brand and Rice’s collaboration efforts will certainly be a huge help in solidifying this law for private institutions as well.


“Kiki is a signing for us that we’re extremely excited about, and it’s more than just who she is as a player,” Jordan Brand says. “We’re interested in athletes like her because what really makes her stand out is her commitment to team, community, and people.”


Rice’s rep at Jordan Brand, Jasmine Jones, says of the deal, “Kiki brings energy and excitement to the brand as our first NIL signee. She is a dynamic player on the floor and has a high basketball IQ. She has an eye for the game that can’t be taught, and it shows through her work ethic and drive to elevate herself day in and day out.”


The talented athlete has already received a warm welcome from the Jordan Brand family. Zion Williamson, Carmelo Anthony, and other pro ball players sent their congratulations on social media. In addition, Rice and Jordan gifted her team with brand-new shoes to break in the season with.



The athlete mentions that the deal still doesn’t feel real to her. We all had inspirations growing up, and Rice’s were Jordan Brand athletes. To now join the ranks among them, Rice says that it’s a dream come true. “It’s the best thing that could have ever happened, and I’m so excited for the future,” she says.


Jordan Brand works tirelessly to reward the best athletes in the game from underrepresented communities. Catch their 20-year deal with Howard University.


Photo via Jordan Brand