The North Carolina Tar Heels point guard has teamed up with BARCODE — a plant-based beverage company founded by NBA coach and professional trainer Mubarak Malik (Bar) — for her first long-term equity deal, according to a press release. The new partnership marks multiple firsts for the star hooper as she’s also the brand’s first-ever female name, image and likeness (NIL) shareholder.
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“Our partnership with Deja Kelly is a no-brainer,” said Bar in a statement. “Her athletic excellence and unwavering commitment to healthy living align perfectly with our missions and value at BARCODE. We’re proud to have Deja join our team and help more consumers unlock their greatest potential through nutrition and lifestyle.”
The press release shares that as its latest brand ambassador, Kelly will help in promoting that BARCODE is the way for young athletes and women to go when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
“Innovation and empowerment are core to who I am as a woman and an athlete,” said Kelly. “It’s incredible to be an ambassador to a company that shares those values, and to own a piece of such a rapidly growing business.”
Under the partnership, BARCODE is set to be the official drink sponsor for Kelly’s upcoming Women’s Empowerment and Basketball Camps, which will teach young women in middle and high school about “the fundamentals of basketball training, leadership, and essential life skills.” In the summer, the camps will launch in San Antonio, TX, her hometown, and Dallas, TX.
Dunkin’ Endorsement Deal
In less than a month of landing her BARCODE deal, Kelly became one of the first student-athletes to sign an endorsement deal with Dunkin’. The 20-year-old was one of two athletes on the company’s debut roster set to “promote the coffee and doughnut brand on social channels and have their own co-branded meals in their college towns.”
“I am so excited to announce that I am officially the captain of Team Dunkin’! I am a longtime Dunkin’ fan so this is truly a dream come true — stay tuned to see how Dunkin’ fuels me on and off the court,” Kelly wrote via Instagram.