After a successful launch last year, glucose monitoring company Dexcom is reupping its name, image, likeness (NIL) program for college athletes with diabetes.
Known as Dexcom U, the program launched in 2022 to boost representation of people with diabetes in sports.
This year, the roster features 20 college athletes, representing men and women across various sports like cheerleading, track and field, football, lacrosse and baseball.
The NIL program serves as an opportunity for Dexcom to promote its glucose monitoring product, Dexcom CGM, alongside a portfolio of athletes who use it during training and athletic competitions.
“My Dexcom CGM allows me to play at my highest level, while giving me, my coaches and family peace of mind by tracking my glucose levels through the Follow app,” said Bri Carrasquillo, a lacrosse player at Yale University, who’s been a member of Dexcom U since its inception. “I feel it’s important to educate others about the tools available that have made such a difference in my diabetes management.”
Dexcom is hoping for the program to grow each year and for it to inspire other young athletes with diabetes to find ways to manage their condition, even in the midst of robust training or competitive sports.
The company referred to a survey it conducted that found 48% of adults with type 1 diabetes believe that learning about a professional athlete or celebrity with type 1 diabetes would be “beneficial” for a newly diagnosed patient.
“In response to last year’s launch, we heard from parents of young children, coaches and athletes with diabetes who felt seen through the stories of Dexcom U athletes,” Teri Lawver, EVP and chief commercial officer at Dexcom, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to expand the program in year two and continue celebrating these inspirational collegiate athletes while proving that diabetes does not have to hold you back.”
Dexcom’s decision to double down on Dexcom U shows the staying power of NIL programs as well as the potential promotional strength for participating brands.
Since the NCAA adopted a uniform NIL policy change in mid-2021, student-athletes nationwide have capitalized on numerous opportunities to partner with brands.
Other recent NIL initiatives in the healthcare industry include footwear brand Saucony’s partnership with Galen College of Nursing, which launched earlier this year to build upon nurse education. That partnership involved Saucony giving NIL sponsorships to four top nursing students at Galen, who now serve as ambassadors for the brand.
Additionally, the Department of Justice and the San Diego State University (SDSU) men’s basketball team embarked on a unique NIL collaboration to combat illicit fentanyl use over the summer.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the Mentoring and Empowering Student Athletes Foundation debuted a social media campaign featuring all members of the SDSU men’s basketball team to promote fentanyl awareness and prevention.
Dexcom is also no stranger to celebrity endorsements, having teamed up with pop singer and actor Nick Jonas since 2015.
In early 2023, Dexcom featured Jonas, who has type 1 diabetes, in an ad that ran during Super Bowl LVII, where he described the Dexcom G7 CGM system as being the “next big thing.”