WWE recently signed collegiate wrestler Gable Steveson to a unique deal that recently became available to student athletes. Under the NCAA’s new rules for NIL (name, image, and likeness) use, players are allowed to make money from their fame for the first time. Now, WWE has launched an endeavor to draw these elite athletes to the company.
Announced on WWE.com, the “Next In Line” program will “provide a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.” WWE Executive Vice for Global Talent Strategy and Development President Paul “Triple H” Levesque touted the new talent pipeline.
“The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business. By creating partnerships with elite athletes at all levels across a wide variety of college sports, we will dramatically expand our pool of talent and create a system that readies NCAA competitors for WWE once their collegiate careers come to a close.”
With the launch of NXT 2.0, a clear shift in the company’s talent strategy emerged. The company wants young, athletic people. Wrestling experience need not apply. The new NIL program will aim to attract exactly the kind of prospects WWE is looking for.
The unique deals will allow collegiate athletes to continue their careers and education while training and drawing a paycheck from WWE. Signees will have access to the WWE Performance Center as well as professional and career development help. Any college athlete who is a fan of WWE will be likely be enticed by the Next In Line program.
Do you think WWE’s new NIL program will produce great talent? Share your thoughts in the comments!