Benefitting from a new NIL era: Sam Hurley builds brand at Texas

Sam Hurley Merch

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellA few years ago, Sam Hurley likely would not have attended the University of Texas, or any college at all. But with the arrival of NIL monetization for student athletes, Hurley can continue his sports passions while also growing his social media brand at Texas, an opportunity not previously awarded to student, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

A sophomore track athlete from Fayetteville, Arkansas, Hurley has built a social media presence that boasts one million followers on Instagram and 3.6 million followers on TikTok, with over 163 million likes on the platform.

Hurley has created a social media empire. He credits his online success to being an early pioneer of what would become one of the largest social media platforms in the world. He said he joined the platform as it transitioned from to TikTok.

“It wasn’t big yet, no one knew it,” Hurley said. “I got on it and my stuff started to blow up and then TikTok blew up. … So as they got bigger, I got bigger.” Hurley became so popular on social media that he planned on becoming a full-time influencer after high school rather than going to college, but the arrival of NIL monetization changed that plan.

“I was able to turn my social media presence into a career and make a living from it,” Hurley said. “Now I can continue to do (social media) while being an athlete, and set myself up for the long term.” Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in NCAA v. Alston, which allowed student athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness starting June 2021, Hurley was undecided between eight colleges. He ultimately chose Texas, largely because of its established brand.

“Whenever you have a name like that next to you, it just makes you that much more marketable,” Hurley said. After landing Hurley, Texas secured one of the most sought-after recruits in the country, in addition to his social media following. During his high school career, Hurley led his team to three straight 6A State Championships, was named the 2020-21 Gatorade Arkansas Boys Track & Field Player of the Year and was the 2021 Arkansas Decathlon Champion.

In his freshman campaign with the Longhorns, Hurley competed in the high jump, pole vault, long jump, 110-meter hurdles, triple jump, javelin and the decathlon. He won the Clemson Invitational’s high jump event with a mark of 2.13 meters and scored one team point at the Big 12 Championships in the men’s high jump.

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