UNC Women's Basketball: Deja Kelly makes history with new NIL deal

The senior guard is known for her style on and off the court, as her latest NIL deal is the first of its kind.

2023 espnW Summit NYC
2023 espnW Summit NYC / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages

Since the Name, Image, & Likeness (NIL) rules have been put in place, not many student-athletes (if any at all) have thrived more than Deja Kelly.

The UNC women's basketball star has excelled in this area, and her talent on the court, combined with her vibrant personality, has helped her become a star in the college basketball world.

If you follow her on social media (you're probably one of the 392K who follow her on Instagram), you consistently see Kelly partnering with various companies to grow her stardom and help promote the respective brands as well.

Along with running her own girls basketball empowerment camp (DK25) to hosting a podcast (NILospophy), Kelly has simply dabbled in many areas. One of her major areas of focus is fashion, as she's displayed her sense of fashion both on and off the court.

Kelly's latest NIL deal perfectly defines the UNC women's basketball star, as she became the first NIL College Ambassador for the popular brand Tommy Hilfiger.

In addition to appearing in company campaigns and attending Tommy Hilfiger events, such as its recent New York Fashion Week show, Kelly will model the company’s newest looks during the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Tommy Hilfiger will also partner with Kelly’s Annual DK25 Girls empowerment camp and support her podcast.

Thomas Hilfiger released a statement expressing his excitement regarding this NIL partnership with Deja Kelly:

“Deja Kelly is a force in college basketball and already taking the sports world by storm. Deja's drive and optimism make her a standout presence on the court and give me a great hope for the future.”

Any young athletes that have aspirations of playing at the next level should look at Kelly as the perfect role model for how to handle the world of NIL. Kelly has a tremendous support system around her, as she continues to grow her stardom while representing companies that she can build with for years to come.

Of course, Kelly has the talent to play in the WNBA at some point in the near future. Don't be surprised if she also becomes a big-time player in the fashion world, as she's much more than just a basketball player and has a very bright future ahead.

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