UCLA Women's Soccer Player Reilyn Turner Signs Nike's 1st NIL Contract

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 10: Lawson Willis #15 of the University of Colorado and Reilyn Turner #66 of UCLA fight for control of the ball during a game at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

UCLA women's soccer player Reilyn Turner became the first college athlete to sign a name, image and likeness (NIL) contract with Nike.

Turner and Nike will work with Los Angeles-area nonprofit organizations to "encourage young girls to be active and participate in sports," per ESPN's Nick DePaula.

"I'm so excited to be a part of what Nike is bringing to the future of women's sport," Turner said. "Picking up a ball opened so many doors for me. Playing sports has allowed me to build relationships with people around the world, to go to an amazing school, to be part of a community that means everything."

Arielle (Ari) Chambers @ariivory

Today is the day! <a href="https://twitter.com/Nike?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Nike</a> has signed their FIRST college student athlete sponsorship. <a href="https://twitter.com/UCLAWSoccer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UCLAWSoccer</a>'s own Reilyn Turner (sophomore forward) is now signed. Reilyn will focus on working with Nike to impact existing communities in Los Angeles. Bigger than sport! <a href="https://t.co/pUweTa6huH">pic.twitter.com/pUweTa6huH</a>

Turner, a native of Lakewood, California, was voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after a 2020 season where she recorded 11 goals, including three game-winning tallies, and five assists across 17 appearances for the Bruins.

The 19-year-old forward added 10 goals with three more game-winners in 20 matches as a sophomore in 2021.

"As an athlete, you're in a position to be a role model, to have a platform to speak up for what you believe in," she said, per DePaula. "I hope to be a role model for those around me and those after me. I want to inspire little girls and little boys to pursue their dreams too."

Turner listed Jackie Robinson, Serena Williams and Michael Jordan among her sports heroes, per DePaula.

"As a Black woman and Mexican American, I think about those who have paved the way for me and how they used their platforms to create so much change, even beyond sport," Turner said. "I hope to be a role model for those around me and those after me."

UCLA previously signed a six-year, $46.45 million contract with Nike to serve as the athletic department's apparel provider last December, so there's no brand conflict.

Turner, who's also played for the U.S. women's youth national teams, should be one of the NCAA's top scorers over the next two seasons.