Nike has countless pro athlete ambassadors that sports fans know and love. Now, it has a college soccer star on its roster.
Continuing with its commitment of supporting women athletes throughout their journey in sports, Nike announced that it has signed Reilyn Turner, a sophomore on the UCLA women’s soccer team. The signing marks the brand’s first-ever college student athlete sponsorship. A star on the pitch, the forward is already racking up the accolades, including being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2020.
Turner, who is one of four players to start all 20 games this past season, ended the 2021 campaign with 10 goals for the Bruins, earning second-team All-Pacific-Region and All-Pac-12 honors.
However, her skills on the field alone didn’t earn her this partnership.
Nike said via statement that not only is Turner aware of the opportunities soccer has afforded her, but she also wants to give similar opportunities to local girls and boys. The brand — armed with a belief that sport can break barriers and contribute to a more equitable future — said it has tapped Turner to help with its existing community impact work in Los Angeles, focused on working with nonprofit partners that help create an active and equitable future for youth.
“As a Black woman and Mexican American, I think about those who have paved the way for me and how they used their platforms to create so much change, even beyond sport,” Turner said in a statement. “I hope to be a role model for those around me and those after me, and I’m so excited to be a part of what Nike is bringing to the future of women’s sport.”
Looking ahead, Nike said all of its partnerships with U.S. college student athletes will include a component that connects to their local communities.
“Whether it’s the community you grow up with or the community you grow into, there’s so much positive impact that can come from how they influence you and how you influence them,” Turner said in a statement.
Prior to signing Turner, Nike has made headlines with UCLA. In December 2020, Nike and Jordan Brand announced a six-year deal with UCLA. The athletic giant became the school’s athletic footwear and apparel provider on July 1, 2021, with the agreement extending to all 25 of UCLA’s varsity sports teams.
Nike inked the deal after Under Armour, the brand that previously backed UCLA, informed the school of its desire to end the record-breaking 15-year contract by invoking the force majeure clause as the COVID-19 health crisis swept the U.S., and subsequently put a pause to college sports.