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South Carolina’s Nyckoles Harbor signs NIL deal with Ovation fragrance

Nyckoles Harbor has made an emphasis on working with companies in the fashion and style space since he signed his first NIL deal in January.

The former five-star recruit worked with multiple suit companies throughout his senior prom season, which outfitted him in exchange for a social media endorsement. Now enrolled at South Carolina, he is preparing for his freshman season and building out his NIL portfolio.

On Tuesday, he added his first NIL agreement with a fragrance company by signing with Ovation for Men Sport. As part of the deal, the brand had him fitted for a custom suit and will later make a contribution to the charity of his choosing. The partnership was facilitated with the assistance of Chaise Belt and Park Avenue Sports, the sports marketing agency focused on soliciting NIL opportunities for Gamecock athletes.

Harbor is not the first high-profile athlete to work with Ovation for Men Sport, which is expected to launch next month. He will market the fragrance next to Michigan State defensive back Dillon Tatum, recent LSU tight end and basketball commit Trey’Dez Green and Penn State running back commit Quinton Martin.

“No other athlete garnered our attention more than Nyckoles Harbor. Nyckoles is one of the most gifted athletes the country has seen in the past decade,” Ovation founder Shawn Crenshaw told On3. “The sole mission of our fragrance brand is to celebrate the style, creativity, showmanship, and excellence of African-American men. No other athlete at this stage of his career is more worthy of applause than Nyckoles Harbor.”

Founded by Crenshaw, as well as Fadelf Jackson and Cecil Cross, Ovation produces a fragrance celebrating the “style, creativity, and showmanship of African-American men.” Ovation for Men is a perfume that has a blend of bergamot, cardamom, aqua, tobacco, and vetiver with hints of amber, vanilla, and leather, according to the company’s website.

Harbor’s signing ushers in a number of firsts for Ovation. The first athlete in the SEC to sign with the fragrance brand, he’s also the athlete with Olympic dreams to market the company. Back in August, he ran a 10.22-second 100-meter time and a 20.95-second 200-meter time. He recorded a 6.70-second 60-meter time in February. His future as a track star weighed into his recruitment.

“Our goal is to become a trusted brand partner that continues to build on Nyckoles’ success by authentically developing his personal brand image and telling relatable brand stories where his love for fragrance and sports intersect,” Crenshaw said.

Provided by Ovation for Men Sport

Ovation to ramp up NIL investment

Ovation for Men Sport has plans for a late August release. Crenshaw said the brand is in the final stages of updating brand assets, and the sport line will include a new fragrance, website, bottle design and packaging. Ovation will be available to purchase through Amazon, too.

The NIL investment will not stop with Harbor, though.

Ovation now has deals with five high school and college athletes. Another athlete from the Big Ten footprint will soon be added, and Crenshaw hopes to continue to grow across the college athletics landscape. Specifically, he plans to establish a minority and women-owned business NIL initiative at a Power 5 institution.

“What’s missing are conversations regarding the policies and mechanisms to ensure that minority and women-owned businesses have access to the unprecedented opportunities afforded by NIL,” he said. “The hardest challenge my brand has encountered is gaining the recognition and acceptance from the NIL power brokers that minority and women-owned businesses are just as relevant and important to our young athletes as the big named brands. Our viewpoint has not been invited to the table. I think the tide is slowly turning.”

Nyckoles Harbor’s growing NIL brand

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver inked his first partnership with Champs Sports the day before his commitment. The sportswear brand went behind-the-scenes with Harbor for the day. He has since signed with Hugo Boss and SuitShop.

Part of the top-25 prospect’s success in starting relationships with brands early in his career his been his notable social media following. Harbor has more than 92,000 followers across Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

He has a $348,000 On3 NIL Valuation, which ranks in the top 25 of On3’s high school football NIL rankings. His valuation has seen an uptick of $37,500 over the last 10 weeks.

The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets the standard market NIL value for high school and college athletes. A proprietary algorithm, the On3 NIL Valuation calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories: performance, influence and exposure.

About On3 NIL Valuation, Brand Value, Roster Value

While the algorithm includes deal data, it does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals athletes have completed to date, nor does it set an athlete’s NIL valuation for their entire career. The On3 NIL Valuation calculates the optimized NIL opportunity for athletes relative to the overall NIL market and projects out to as long as 12 months into the future.

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