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Stanford golf star becomes first athlete to sign NIL deal with Adidas

Rose Zhang of Stanford tees off during the NCAA golf championship. (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

After winning the individual and team titles at the NCAA Division I women’s golf championship, Stanford freshman Rose Zhang is adding an NIL deal with Adidas to her list of accomplishments this month.

The 19-year-old becomes the first student-athlete to sign an NIL deal with the brand.

Back in March, the brand unveiled a NIL program for over 50,000 student-athletes at its 109 partner schools. The program is being launched in four phases, beginning with HBCUs and Power 5 conference partners this fall. It will expand to all schools by April 2023.

Zhang’s contract is a multi-year deal in which the golfer will represent adidas on and off the course in competition, training and other non-university team obligations.

“Adidas has been a major part of some of my biggest wins as an amateur, so this is an exciting moment for me,” Zhang said in a statement. “I’m most comfortable wearing the three stripes on the course and can’t wait for what’s ahead.”

Zhang is the world’s top amateur in women’s golf. She’s qualified in every major championship since 2019 as an amateur and won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2020.

“Rose is an extraordinary athlete, a class-act both on and off the golf course and is determined to be the best in the world every single day,” said Tim McNulty, the global director of sports marketing for Adidas Golf. “Having Rose join team adidas is something we’ve been looking forward to for quite some time, and we look forward to supporting her as she continues to make her mark on women’s golf around the world.”