College football players have taken advantage of numerous deals to profit off their name, image and likeness of late, but none offered the level of synergy as the one between an Alabama football player and a flavored drink company announced on Wednesday.
Freshman defensive back Ga’Quincy McKinstry, who goes by the nickname “Kool-Aid” and is listed as such on Alabama’s official roster, said on Twitter that he’s entered into a partnership with the popular drink company Kool-Aid.
McKinstry even included the Kool-Aid mascot’s catchphrase, “OHH YEAH!”
In honor of the deal, Kool-Aid changed the name on its official Twitter account.
— Ga’Quincy McKinstry (@koolaid) August 18, 2021
— Kool-Aid Man (@GaQMcK1) August 18, 2021
McKinstry is far from the first Alabama football player to sign an NIL deal. Malachi Moore, Chris Allen, Agiye Hall and Henry To’o To’o announced deals with PSD Underwear shortly after NIL legislation went into effect on July 1.
The most notable Alabama player to profit off the new NIL opportunities has been quarterback Bryce Young. The sophomore has yet to start a game, and still he’s signed more than $800,000 in deals, sources told ESPN.
On Tuesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach that his message to players has been to keep football the main thing and how that will lead to more opportunities.
“If you get distracted by that then you’re really kind of penalizing yourself,” he said.
Equality in the locker room is Saban’s biggest concern since not everyone will have the ability to earn what Young or others do, but he said he hasn’t heard any complaints from players so far.
“I told our players, ‘When you play in the NFL, everybody doesn’t make the same,'” Saban said.