WWE Announces New Programme To Develop College Athletes
A new strategy for WWE
WWE announced a new NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) programme today to recruit and develop college athletes into potential WWE wrestlers.
Named 'Next In The Line', the programme will aim to enhance "the talent development process" through collaborative partnerships with college athletes. This will include access to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, as well as resources for brand building, media training, communications, live event production, creative writing and community relations.
After completing the NIL programme, select athletes could earn a WWE contract. The company will announce their first class of NIL partnerships in the coming weeks.
Triple H, WWE Executive Vice President, Global Talent Strategy and Development, said: "The WWE NIL program has the potential to be transformational to our business. By creating partnerships with elite athletes at all levels across a wide variety of college sports, we will dramatically expand our pool of talent and create a system that readies NCAA competitors for WWE once their collegiate careers come to a close."
WWE announced their first NIL deal in September with Gable Steveson. Steveson is currently training to become a WWE Superstar during his senior year at the University of Minnesota and he was drafted to Monday Night Raw earlier this year.
The new programme to turn college athletes into future WWE wrestlers comes after the company moved away from scouting independent wrestlers and towards a preference for looks as opposed to ability inside the squared circle. As part of this new outlook, the company were expected to hire more athletes.