WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WEHT) — Some exciting news has come through the city of Evansville for one local family-owned and operated business. Purdue Boilermakers quarterback, Aidan O’ Connell, has signed a NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) deal with Azzip Pizza for the 2022 football season.

O’Connell led the Boilermakers to a 9-4 2021 season which included major upsets over Top 5 Michigan State and Iowa. He was also reported to be the second rated passer in the Big 10 with six games over 300 yards passing.

What is a NIL deal and why are they important?
A NIL deal, is a contract which a student-athlete makes to allow a business to market their likeness in exchange for compensation. These deals could be either on the local level or on a national level.

Student athletes are now legally allowed to make NIL deals due to a recent supreme court ruling. In the case of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) v. Alston, the court ruled unanimously in the summer of 2021, against the NCAA, stating students were free to earn a profit using their name, image and likeness which was the start of NIL deals in college sports.

Before this ruling, reports say student-athletes were not allowed to make NIL deals for profit. Universities profited off their likenesses and hard work and never gave any of the money to the actual athletes. This ruling allows student-athletes a chance to profit off their own likenesses, which was previously exploited by universities for university profit only.

Aidan O’Connell’s deal
A press release from Azzip Pizza says the deal with O’Connell marks the very first Level 2 partnership for their Team Azzip program. The deal allowed O’Connell to create his very own pizza to be featured for the entire month in which he will receive a portion of the sales money made.

“I am excited to partner with Aidan on the Aidan’s Air Raid pizza,” says founder, 2008 Purdue Boilermakers Football walk-on and Co-CEO of Azzip Pizza, Brad Niemeier. “After getting to spend some time with Aidan, he is such a great representative for Purdue and I am excited to root for him this fall. He has a very creative order at Azzip and experimented with his pizza to figure out exactly what he likes, which is exactly what I hope our customers do.”

“Aidan’s Air Raid” contains the following ingredients:

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Azzip Pesto
  • Mozzarella
  • Pulled Pork
  • Pepperoni
  • Green Peppers
  • Hot Pepper Blend
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Grippos BBQ Chips
  • A side of Garlic Butter

O’Connell says he will be donating a portion of his proceeds to an organization which had a significant impact on both his personal life as well as his athletic career, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

His pizza, “Aidan’s Air Raid” will be available in-store and online all September long at Azzip Pizza Locations including: Lafayette, Greenwood, Evansville area, and Newburgh.