Armando Bacot’s NIL journey has left him well off.
Rather than making the leap to the NBA following his junior season, the now rising graduate student at North Carolina opted into two additional years in school, which has led to Bacot receiving over $1 million in NIL monies over the past season.
Now Bacot is leveraging what he’s earned to give back to the local community that has supported him throughout his college career.
Last Tuesday, Bacot and sponsor Frosted Flakes visited the local Food Lion in Pittsboro, North Carolina, just about 15 miles from the UNC campus, to meet with fans and announce he’d be launching the “Mission Tiger” fundraiser in North Carolina, which is raising money to fund sports equipment for middle schools, opening the door for more teams and better access for athletes. Along with the launch of the fundraiser, Bacot pledged a $10,000 donation to Brogden Middle School in Durham.
“It means a lot to give back to my community with Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, especially the young athletes in Chapel Hill,” Bacot said in a statement. “I know there can be a lot of pressure on kids to make the varsity team or win the championship game, so I hope Tony the Tiger and I can help remind kids that the most important thing is to just go out there, do your best and have fun!”
“Kids are quitting sports by age 11 due to an economic crunch that cuts access and opportunities for them to play and just have fun,” Laura Newman, Sr. Director of Brand Marketing at Kelloggs said. “Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes understands the vital role both fun and funding play in keeping kids in the game, so we’ve called on some of the most fun and talented college athletes to join our Mission Tiger team to help us bring fun back to youth sports and deliver donations to local middle schools.”
Bacot is just one of a handful of college athletes the brand has or is planning to sign onto Mission Tiger. Currently, the campaign has signed the likes of professional athletes Jalen Hurts, Najee Harris, Ben Simmons and Julie Ertz, to name a few. This was his first public appearance since the end of the basketball season in March.
As the fundraiser continues, Frosted Flakes announced they will triple donations up to $20,000 made toward eligible middle school projects in North Carolina through DonorsChoose, a non-profit that allows the public to donate to their local public schools.
Bacot enters his graduate season at UNC hoping to bring the Tar Heels back to the Final Four after a rough 2022-23 campaign that saw the National Title runner-ups miss out on March Madness for the first time since 2010. This past season, Bacot was third on the team in points (15.9) and led the way on the glass averaging 10.4 rebounds per game, good for 10th in the NCAA.