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Dwayne Johnson’s ZOA Energy signs star college athletes to NIL deal

ZOA Energy
Photo credit: ZOA Energy

Dwayne Johnson, the former WWE superstar turned actor, alongside his energy drink brand ZOA, are dipping into the NIL space with the introduction of a new annual program.

On Wednesday, the company announced the inaugural class of “The Rock’s Warriors,” composed of seven of the top athletes in the NCAA, hand picked by Johnson himself for their “commitment to striving for something bigger,” a main company initiative. 

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“I know from experience the grit and hard work that’s required of these college athletes to get the job done. Not just during their championship games or in the classrooms, but every day in the game of life,” Johnson said in a press release. “I personally selected these phenomenal individuals because of the energy, tenacity, and excitement they bring to the game. With a diverse set of stories and experiences, they’re driven, hungry, talented, and ready for ZOA to help fuel them to greatness.”

The inaugural class features Brock Bowers (Football, Georgia), Angel Reese (Basketball, LSU), Marvin Harrison Jr (Football, Ohio State), Hansel Enmanuel (Basketball, Austin Peay), Drake Maye (Football, UNC), Kam Kinchens (Football, Miami) and Amaya Gainer (Softball, Florida A&M).

“ZOA is all about being authentic and going beyond the individual to contribute to something bigger, which drew me in because I have always fought to beat people’s perceptions of me and to empower athletes like myself,” Enmanuel said in a statement. “Collaborating with The Rock and the other Warriors is an amazing platform and program for me to help other athletes strive for greatness, too.”

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As part of the class, the athletes will lead a brand marketing campaign, as well as create content on social media while supporting national and regional retail partners and participate in philanthropic events across the country. 

Founded in 2020, ZOA energy has been growing as a competitor in the saturated drink market, signing a distribution agreement with Molson Coors in 2021. The launch of “The Rock’s Warriors” comes on the heels of ZOA’s latest campaign, “Fuel Something Bigger,” which led the company to shift from black cans to a brighter look, while changing the product formula by increasing the amount of both natural caffeine and Vitamin C. Both campaigns are paving the way for ZOA to grow the company’s aforementioned initiative of striving for something bigger.