Iowa wide receiver Tyrone Tracy Jr. taking advantage of name, image, likeness opportunities

After hosting an autograph signing event, Tracy has a logo and merchandise coming before the football season kicks off.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa wide receiver Tyrone Tracy Jr. answers questions during day two of Big Ten Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday, July 23. (Jerod Ringwald/The Daily Iowan)

Chloe Peterson, Summer Sports Editor

INDIANAPOLIS — In a perfect world, Tyrone Tracy Jr. would form a partnership with Nike. Or his favorite sports drink: Bodyarmor.

Now, the Hawkeye junior wide receiver has the chance to capitalize off his name, image, and likeness, but head coach Kirk Ferentz has made one thing clear to the Hawkeyes: football comes first.

“Coach Ferentz had a meeting with us and made it a point for us to understand that, you know, we don’t want this to get in the way of football,” Tracy said at Big Ten Media Days on July 23. “So, it is a great opportunity, it’s a blessing, but as we start to do stuff and capitalize, we don’t want it to be a distraction.”

After a years-long push from student-athletes around the country, the NCAA changed its name, image, and likeness guidelines on July 1. Collegiate athletes can now capitalize off their name, image, and likeness, including hosting athletic camps and selling merchandise.

For Ferentz, it’s one more thing in his student-athletes’ already busy schedules.

“I think it’s probably gonna take a while to really understand it fully,” Ferentz said on July 23. “One thing is really apparent to me, right from the get-go… it’s gonna be one more tug on our guys for time management, energy management. And they’ve already got a lot of those anyway. Every college athlete’s had that forever, like you know as long as there’s things to do outside of sports or academics. So that the energy and time management can be big.”

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Tracy quickly took advantage of NIL, hosting a signing event at Graze in Iowa City with junior running back Tyler Goodson and defensive back Dane Belton. He also partnered with YOKE gaming — a platform for fans to play videogames with their favorite athletes.

And there’s more to come from the Hawkeye wide receiver.

“I actually have a lot of stuff coming out soon before the [football] season,” Tracy said. “I have my own logo that will come out with some apparel. The launch day, I think, will be a week before the actual game. So, I think that’s going to be pretty big for me, just to get that out there.”

But when the season comes around on Sept. 4 against Indiana, Tracy is going to focus on football, connecting with teammates, and leading his team as a captain. After all, Tracy said, the best players get the best NIL opportunities.

“If you just play good football, you go out during the season and play really good football, you won’t have to start searching for NIL opportunities,” Tracy said. “The opportunities will present themselves.”

It helps to be on a good, nationally known team, as well, Ferentz said.

Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young is already approaching $1 million in endorsement deals before making a start for the Crimson Tide. Alabama was the 2021 College Football Playoff champion.

Iowa is projected to be a preseason top 25 team in the country.

“The other thing I told our guys is that it’s probably going to help you to be on a good team,” Ferentz said. “‘Be a good player on a good team. That’ll probably make you more marketable, like the NFL Draft or anything else.’ So, it’s gonna be interesting.”

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