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On eve of Name, Image and Likeness, Runza says it will offer Nebraska athletes endorsement deals
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On eve of Name, Image and Likeness, Runza says it will offer Nebraska athletes endorsement deals

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Temperature Tuesday at Runza

Customers wrap around the Runza location at 33rd Street and Nebraska 2 on Jan. 29, 2019.

Parker Gabriel and Chris Basnett break down the five players who have verbally committed to Nebraska football this month and plenty more.

When midnight strikes on Thursday, college athletes around the country will be able to profit from their name, image and likeness.

Nebraska athletes already have one offer on the table.

Runza announced Wednesday it is offering deals to the first 100 current athletes who opt in and promote the restaurant's reward app to their followers on social media. The restaurant, which has 82 operations in the state, is the first known business to publicly offer a deal to Nebraska athletes.

The payment will be a single flat amount for everyone regardless of what sport they play or which in-state school they attend.

Runza, one of the prominent sponsors in Husker athletics, said it plans to use a similar approach for future promotions and fan engagement if all goes well with the rollout of NIL marketing plans.

"This a new and exciting era of college sports,” Becky Perrett, Runza’s director of marketing, said in a statement. "Runza has a long history of partnering with area colleges and universities for athletics sponsorships, and now, changes to the name, image and likeness policy allow our brand to directly support student-athletes."

Said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence, "The brand has been a staple of the college sports experience across the state for years. This campaign builds on that history — Runza becomes the first regional brand to commit to supporting student-athletes in Nebraska at scale. I’m proud that we can provide the marketplace that makes this long-time goal a reality."

Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.

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