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Miami QB D’Eriq King scores sponsor deal with NHL’s Panthers


FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JULY 23: The Florida Panthers welcome guest to take part in a Draft day event. The Florida Panthers Selected with the 24th pick in the first round Forward Mackie Samoskevich in 2021 NHL Draft event at the Lauderdale Yacht Club on July 23, 2021 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

The Florida Panthers have signed a quarterback.

Miami quarterback D’Eriq King has become the first college player to sign an endorsement deal with the Panthers, the NHL team announced Monday. King will appear at some Panthers games and events, plus engage with fans on social media and produce digital content.

The deal also calls for King to work with the Panthers to develop a merchandise collection, co-branded art and his own exclusive concession menu item to be available at all Panthers home games and events for the coming season.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“D’Eriq is a superstar both on and off the field and we are excited to reach and engage South Florida sports fans in new ways through this collaborative partnership,” Panthers chief strategy officer Sam Doerr said.

The Panthers were the first U.S. major pro sports team to develop a plan in which college athletes could align with them as part of the recent rule allowing them to profit off their name, image and likeness. King has been among one of the most sought athletes in the country since players could begin signing such deals this month; the Panthers’ contract is at least the sixth known deal that King has entered into this summer.

“The whole NIL thing, I think it’s really good for college football,” King said last month at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s preseason football media days. “My thing was work with good companies. You can’t work with everybody. You want to work with companies that align with your core values. You don’t want to go out there and work with that company, that company, that company.”

It took the Panthers about three weeks between unveiling the program and signing King, and the team plans to sign more athletes quickly. The Panthers have said they value diversity and want female athletes and those from Olympic sports to be part of their program.