VfL Wolfsburg launches NIL program within US College Athletics

The Wolves step into college athletics by signing female soccer athletes from Tennessee through endorsement deals.

StrongHer Sportlerin Janiya Stevens aus Chattanooga lächelt im VfL Wolfsburg Trikot mit verschränkten Armen in die Kamera.

„StrongHER U“ is believed to be the first ever NIL program by an European sports team and aims to empower female college athletes while integrating them as mentors and local ambassadors for the StrongHER project, which the club launched in April 2022.

“Left me speechless”

The club’s NIL program is spearheaded by JaNiya Stevens from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, who will collaborate with VfL Wolfsburg in order to promote StrongHER locally and to be involved in the community to support the young girls of the StrongHER project through their experiences and also coaching appearances during the training sessions of the StrongHER girls.

“NIL opportunities are about connecting with different people and making an impact in your community, which is something I've always kept at the forefront of any NIL deal I've pursued”, JaNiya Stevens emphasized. “To now join a project that allows me to leverage my platform and experiences to help similar girls — girls who look like me and are in the same position I was in — almost left me speechless.”

To hear about JaNiya’s story, click here.

“The impact we want to have”

“At VfL Wolfsburg, we always try to deeply understand the markets we are active in and how we can find an edge that might set us apart from others in the space while contributing to the impact that we want to have in the communities”, said Jan Twete, Director Global Partnerships at VfL Wolfsburg. “Being active in the NIL space gives us the opportunity to get in front of a lot of these college-aged kids that can influence their peers, friends and inner circle to become aware of us and our programs, which not just gives us an authentic inroad into college campuses but also the chance to work with relatable athletes who act as role models and mentors for our young girls in the StrongHER program.”

Cooperation with FanWord

NIL stands for Name, Image and Likeness and describes the fairly new opportunity within the US college sports system to collaborate and advertise with college athletes through individual endorsement deals. VfL Wolfsburg‘s „StrongHER U“ program was developed in cooperation with the well-established NIL and athlete storytelling and brand development company FanWord. “VfL Wolfsburg has put a tremendous amount of work into this program, and we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with them and see this project come to life”, said Christopher Aumueller, CEO at FanWord. “Giving student-athletes the opportunity to align with an iconic brand like VfL Wolfsburg is absolutely incredible. The StrongHER campaign has a tremendous impact on local communities, and we are beyond thrilled to help extend its reach and impact here in the United States.

FanWord collaborates with more than 50 sports teams and other athletic organizations to help athletes tell their stories and build their brands. For more information about FanWord and its product offerings, click here.

More information about StrongHER