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Hailey Van Lith starring in March Madness ad as Adidas crosses 12K participants in NIL network powered by Postgame

LSU star Hailey Van Lith starring in new adidas campaign ahead of March Madness powered by Postgame

Hailey Van Lith starring in March Madness ad as Adidas crosses 12K participants in NIL network powered by Postgame

Adidas is doubling down on its NIL efforts ahead of the start of March Madness.

As one of the faces for the sneaker giant in the collegiate space, LSU’s Hailey Van Lith is back to starring in a major campaign. The former Louisville transfer will be in the brand’s March Madness commercial, announced Monday, which will focus on “helping elite and grassroots athletes disarm pressure and return to the love and joy of sport.”

The theme was unveiled last month, and Van Lith is the latest star to appear in a commercial for the campaign. According to adidas, the ad will air during both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament on broadcast networks and social media channels.

“Throughout my journey with the sport, I never shied away from a challenge and that’s made me the competitor I am today,” Van Lith said. “Putting yourself in situations where you’re tested and proving that you can overcome internal or external pressure gives you confidence to play freely and lean into those competitive moments, like championship tournaments, with eagerness rather than fear.

“It’s critical to remind yourself that you’ve navigated pressure before and just focus on being the player and teammate you know you can be.”

Hailey Van Lith continuing to build NIL brand with adidas

The Tigers hold a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament in the Albany 1 region, which includes No. 1 seed Iowa. Van Lith finished her first regular season in the SEC averaging 12.3 points and 3.7 assists per game, as LSU went 28-5 and fell in the conference tournament finals to South Carolina.

Van Lith was one of the first major signees for adidas. When the 5-foot-7 point guard transferred, she continued her partnership with the brand and has continued to participate in promotion activity, despite LSU being a Nike school. She was one of the leading athletes last June of adidas’ Exhibit SELECT sneaker, engineered to the specifications of women’s feet and the demands of women’s basketball.

“As athletes navigate high-stake sport moments throughout their careers, it can be difficult to cope with the weight of expectations,” adidas senior vice president of marketing Chris Murphy said. “Our focus is helping these athletes re-capture the joy they have playing sports. In partnership with Hailey Van Lith, we’re inspiring the next generation of athletes, and helping them get back to why they started playing sports in the first place – to have fun.”

Van Lith was first-team All-ACC and ranked sixth in the league with 15.4 points during her final season with the Cardinals. With more than 1.1 million social media followers, she has emerged as one of the top NIL stars in women’s basketball.

Adidas finding success with NIL network

The sneaker giant also announced Monday more than 12,000 athletes have opted-in to its NIL Ambassador Network since March 2022. Athletes who participate in the network earn a percentage of the sales they drive for key products and campaigns. Adidas’ efforts have made it one of the largest NIL deals to date.

Basketball, track and field, football, soccer and baseball have the highest sport representation across the network. Agreements have been facilitated through Postgame, working with names like Hunter Dickinson and Nijel Pack. The brand plans to tap into the network throughout the NCAA Tournament, with plans for athletes to feature merchandise on social media channels.

Adidas has seen a return on investment from their spending in the space, with millions of social media impressions driven by collegiate athletes. The brand announced it plans to continue to invest and visit schools nationwide to educate athletes on further NIL opportunities.

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