Called “the most prepared player in this [NBA] draft,” excitement surrounds Scoot Henderson’s NBA debut. Henderson made history in 2021 as the then youngest professional basketball player in history. A five-star recruit, Henderson skipped his senior year of high school to sign with G League Ignite. Now, before the NBA Draft, AT&T partnered with Henderson to highlight the role family played in his success. Beyond showcasing an impactful family bond, the NBA Draft partnership showcases the power of NIL rights for high school and college athletes.
As part of AT&T’s “My First Connection” series, which gives fans an inside look at the formative years of athletes, Henderson shared a touching video highlighting how his sister, Crystal “Moochie” Henderson, shaped his success. With seven siblings, the Henderson family boasts incredible basketball athletes. Three of the sisters competed in NCAA women’s basketball, and Moochie is a top-rated guard in this year’s incoming class.
Scoot’s decision to opt out of NCAA competition and into the G League for competitive purposes came before states’ NIL bills went into effect. Once in the G League, Scoot quickly took advantage of the ability to monetize his name, image and likeness. In 2022, he signed a seven-figure deal with Puma, “believed to be the richest deal ever for a non-draft-eligible basketball player.” Now, by highlighting the impact of Moochie on his life in his partnership with AT&T, he is helping grow her brand, too. Notably, this opportunity likely wouldn’t have existed a mere two years ago, as NCAA rules would have likely prohibited Moochie from appearing in the spot.
Beyond sharing a touching story of sibling love, Scoot including Moochie in his AT&T spot accomplishes another important objective: visibility for women’s sport athletes. Scoot himself has said that Moochie is the “most skilled” basketball player in the family. Yet, despite this, she will likely face a tougher battle securing sponsorships than her brother. That’s because a wide gap exists in the amount of sponsorship dollars corporations spend on men’s sport athletes and teams versus women’s sport athletes and teams. In 2021, less than 1% of sport sponsorship dollars went to women’s sports.
As predicted by researchers, though, allowing college athletes to profit from their NIL is cutting the gap between men’s and women’s sport sponsorship revenue. A 2022 study by SponsorUnited found that brand deals to women’s sport athletes increased 20% year-over-year in the first year that college athletes could profit from their NIL.
Projected to be drafted in the top-three in this year’s NBA Draft, Scoot Henderson will likely continue to rely on AT&T’s web and video chat capabilities to keep up with Moochie. And thanks to NIL, fans can continue to watch the siblings’ careers and personal brands grow.
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