The reigning NCAA Division I women’s soccer champions appear to be getting all of the perks associated with being on top. The Santa Clara Broncos, in a partnership with ChiliSleep, will presumably be getting an upgrade on their level of comfort when they sleep. The Cube with Chilipad, which is the signature offering from Chilipad, will be used by the entire women’s soccer team and staff. In addition to the larger team collaboration, Broncos forward Kelsey Turnbow has agreed to an NIL agreement with the company. She’s a popular draw for the team, considering her selection in the NWSL Draft by the Chicago Red Stars.
It's not unheard of for brands to be closely associated with programs, or even specific teams within a university. This partnership straddles an interesting line which shines a light on resources certain programs have that others may not. Programs certainly have different spending thresholds and priorities within their departments for training and player well-being. At the end of the day, will higher tech mattresses lead Santa Clara to a second consecutive NCAA title? Probably not on its own, but senior Athletic Director Ryan Holleman is excited to have ChiliSleep as an ally.
“We’ve long focused on on-field performance tech, but with ChiliSleep, we are now incorporating off-field tech to boost player recovery,” he said. Via Santaclarabroncos.com
Financial terms of the partnership are not immediately known. It’s not uncommon for mattress brands to align themselves closely with athletes, as we’ve seen Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott appear in many Sleep Number commercials over the years. Turnbow released a statement stating that the new bed has helped her feel refreshed this season.
“With juggling rigorous academics and the pressure of repeating as national champions, the Cube is definitely helping to improve how well I feel each day,” she said. Via Santaclarabroncos.com
As the lines between commercial relationships and amateurism in college athletes continue to blur and dissolve, we will likely see more publicized deals with companies that market themselves as performance enhancers for players.