World No. 1 amateur golfer Rose Zhang has become the first student athlete to land an NIL (name, image and likeness) deal with sports apparel brand Adidas.
The endorsement was announced on Tuesday, just days after the 19-year-old Stanford University first-year student won the NCAA women’s individual championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, by three shots.
As part of her contract, the Stanford Cardinal golfer must wear Adidas gear on the course and during training – except when she is representing Stanford due to the university’s separate deal with Nike. She will also be featured in Adidas’ marketing campaigns for golf apparel and footwear.
“Beyond ecstatic to join the @adidasgolf fam!!” Zhang wrote in a celebratory Instagram post on Tuesday. “Crazy how I am able to have this opportunity and be the first athlete to sign an NIL deal with them, thank you for all the support and love! I will be wearing the three stripes proudly.”
Tim McNulty, Adidas Golf’s global director of sports marketing, wrote about the young golfer in a statement, saying, “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. 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.”
On May 24, her 19th birthday, Zhang was named the winner of the 2022 Aannika Award as the most outstanding female NCAA Division I college golfer.
Zhang, who also won the U.S Women’s Amateur and U.S. Girls Junior Championship, will soon be making her fourth U.S. Women’s Open appearance. The event will take place at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, from June 2-5.