Arch Manning’s handling of ‘EA Sports College Football 25’ was an NIL masterclass

    Arch Manning has a football pedigree. The Texas Longhorns backup quarterback and nephew of NFL legends Peyton Manning and Eli Manning is next in line for football’s first family. But he hasn’t just learned football from his uncles, he’s learned business acumen too.

    Arch made headlines in March when he opted out of the video game “EA Sports College Football 25,” saying he was focusing on football on the field. It was also reported he wanted to wait until “he was the guy” at Texas before appearing in the game.

    That changed Tuesday when Arch released a video with an assist from Uncle Eli announcing he would appear in the game. The switch was a masterclass in the new age of NIL deals.

    Arch was the most high-profile athlete to opt out of the game, and it was huge news when the story broke. In an era where money is up for grabs and headlines are just as sought after, Arch was a headline generator twice.

    Whether he meant to or not, he showed the power of the modern-day college athlete. All players who opted into the game will receive $600 and a free copy of the game from EA Sports. According to On3 Sports though, Arch will be receiving between $50,000 to $60,000 to promote the game. It’s a nice payout for a player who has only thrown five collegiate passes. It’s also more money than he may have received had he opted in right away.

    Patience pays off.

    Arch was always in demand, but as the release grew closer the demand for him increased. As for EA Sports, they will be paying over 10,000 athletes to be in the game, meaning they’re on the hook for at least $6.7 million of cash and product. Arch opting in surely means more sales. It’s a win-win for both parties.

    The announcement comes days before the July 19 release of the game and has generated a surge of interest as it prepares to hit shelves. Had Manning neglected to opt in, he’d have missed out on the massive payout from EA Sports, but he also would have missed a chance at relevancy — a fleeting thing in today’s hyper-fast media environment.

    There are more accomplished college football players on the field, but there’s no one being talked about more, and very few with a bigger bank account, than Arch. That’s thanks to his business savvy.

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