Jackson State‘s Travis Hunter has just signed a new groundbreaking NIL deal. Learn more in the story by Jeff Beer at Fast Company.
As the top high school football recruit in the United States this year, Travis Hunter shocked the football world in December when he reversed his year-long commitment to play at Florida State in order to switch over to HBCU Jackson State, coached by NFL legend Deion Sanders.
Today, fintech platform Greenwood has signed Hunter to a two-year NIL deal as the Black-owned digital bank’s newest brand ambassador. Cofounder and chairman Ryan Glover says the deal has as much to do with Hunter’s bravery and integrity off the field as it does his talents on it. Hunter will be the face of the brand’s new “Choose Black” campaign, aimed at celebrating trailblazers in the Black community who’ve make personal decisions that will benefit the community in years to come.
“Travis’s commitment to select Jackson State over other top D1 schools is truly a testament to our Choose Black mission, and why we’re choosing to celebrate him as our inaugural NIL partner,” says Glover, who founded Greenwood in 2020 with Civil Rights icon and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young and rapper Killer Mike (Michael Render). “I was really impressed with Travis’s decision to choose Jackson State University over Florida State and other D1 schools that are more financed, and have more [media] exposure. This is a kid who really embodies the bravery that we have and promote at Greenwood, to improve the lives of our community.”
Greenwood was founded with a focus on the financial needs of the Black and Latino communities, addressing historical disparities in financial services and economic opportunity. The company, whose investors include Bank of America, PNC, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Mastercard, and Visa, currently offers products through its mobile app, such as digital savings and spending accounts, Apple and Android pay, no-fee peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, community reinvestment, and two-day early pay.
Hunter says that he wanted to partner with Greenwood because its philosophy around highlighting and empowering the strength of the Black community reflects his own, and will hopefully provide a model for others to collaborate and partner with Black institutions and businesses.
“I don’t just partner with any brand, I have to believe in what they are doing, and they have to believe in me,” says Hunter. “We have to share similar values, and if there is a benefit to the larger community, that is always something I look for. I want to be able to use my voice to make a difference and help inspire those around me.”
Last year, Greenwood launched a studio to create financial-education content, and has since rolled out multiple regular digital shows and podcasts, and Glover says that the plan for the Choose Black campaign is to create with Hunter, establish partnerships with other universities to hold forums on, and create strategic partnerships around financial education.
In May, Greenwood acquired Black-focused private membership network The Gathering Spot, which has networking and workspace clubs in Atlanta; Washington, DC; and Los Angeles. Glover says it has made Greenwood the country’s largest combined fintech and community platform for Black and minority consumers.
“We now provide access to capital, wealth-building guidance, business networking, career development, and community engagement to more than a million people in our collective community,” says Glover.
Glover sees Hunter as an ideal role model for young people in the way he is taking financial education, and its role in the success of his community, so seriously at such a young age. Much like his choice of schools, Hunter sees his choice of brand partners as having a broader impact beyond his own bottom line.
“I want the next generation to feel empowered to make informed financial decisions and to support Black businesses and Black excellence,” says Hunter. “I also want the next generation to know that there are several resources and institutions out there, such as Greenwood, which will help educate and provide the resources necessary to our community to help bridge economic disparities and build generational wealth.”