The 1st High School NIL Deal in Oregon History
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Portland, Ore. (October 21, 2022) - Portland Gear, the lifestyle apparel brand celebrating its hometown of Portland, Oregon, announced that it became the first brand in the state to offer “name image likeness” (NIL) endorsement deals to high school athletes when it signed NIL agreements with Sofia Bell and Jackson Shelstad. Both athletes are seniors and will graduate in 2023, and both have committed to play for University of Oregon basketball starting with the 2023-24 season. In addition, both athletes are ranked #1 among Oregon athletes on Prep Girls Hoops and Prep Hoops respectively.
The NIL deals were made possible when the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) voted to allow high school athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness earlier this month. Oregon became the 19th state to allow NIL deals for high school athletes; NCAA athletes in Oregon were cleared for NIL deals in fall 2021.
“A deep love of sports is in Portland Gear’s DNA,” said Portland Gear founder Marcus Harvey.
“And as a University of Oregon alum — and huge Ducks and hoops fan in general — I couldn’t be more excited to make history by welcoming both Sofia and Jackson to the Portland Gear family through NIL endorsements.”
Sofia Bell, a 6-foot-1 wing, committed to the Oregon Ducks Women’s Basketball program in November 2021. She chose the Ducks over Cal Berkeley, Gonzaga, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Stanford, USC and Washington. Bell is the daughter of Greg Bell, who played for the Oregon Men’s Basketball program in the mid 1980s. She is looking forward to playing in the same collegiate program as her role model, WNBA standout and current New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu.
“I’m excited to sign with Portland Gear!” said Bell. “I’ve lived in Portland my whole life, so this feels like the natural step for me in my basketball journey. I’m a big fan of the brand Marcus has built, so this immediately felt like a great fit (plus he’s a Duck!).”
Jackson Shelstad, a 6-foot point guard, committed to the Oregon Ducks Men’s Basketball program in November 2021. In recent years, Shelstad developed into one of the nation’s fastest-rising prospects, generating offers from Arizona State, Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas, Houston, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC and many others. He was named the 2021-22 Gatorade Oregon Boys Basketball Player of the Year, as well as the 2021-22 Oregon Sports Awards Prep Basketball Player of the Year. Over the years, Shelstad has been mentored by local basketball star and current Boston Celtic guard, Payton Pritchard.
“I’ve been a big fan of Portland Gear since it started, which makes me even more excited about this opportunity,” said Shelstad. “It’s incredible to make history as one of two high school athletes to be the first to sign NIL deals, and I can’t wait to see what my future with Portland Gear holds.”
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