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Reese Lechner is only 10 years old, but she is already making a huge splash in the world of Name, Image and Likeness. The Minnesota-native is the youngest known athlete to sign an NIL deal.
While other kids her age are mowing lawns, shoveling driveways and holding lemonade stands to put some money in their piggy banks, Lechner is monetizing her athleticism. It’s an unprecedented move that puts her on the same playing field as elite high school and collegiate athletes.
Lechner lives in Stewartville, Minn. and plays basketball and volleyball. She trains at The Performance Center, a local gym in the town.
Her mother, Hannah Gary Lechner, made a run to the Final Four with the University of Minnesota in 2003-04. When she started explaining all of the changes surrounding NIL to her daughter, Reese was immediately captivated and wanted to get involved.
An NIL deal was born!
One thing led to another and Lechner went to Zach Hodgson, co-owner of The Performance Center, with an idea. Not long thereafter, on Feb. 27, Hannah signed a deal with the gym.
She was going to be coming to us for training, and then brought up the concept of an NIL. It was a really interesting learning experience for both of us because it was a brand new concept (for us). It was kind of a unique situation that allowed all of us to gain experience and gain something out of it.— Zach Hodgson, via the Post Bulletin
Exact details of her deal, like the compensation value, are undisclosed. The terms are simple, though.
Lechner will be paid in exchange for her promotion. She is tasked with referring people to The Performance Center through social media and gym-branded gear.
Although a 6-year-old golfer in California is the youngest known athlete to sign a deal for NIL, Lechner is the youngest known female to put a pen to paper at 10 years old. And she doesn’t plan to stop at just one!