Gordon McKernan sees benefits of NIL deals for Tigers
"Reading the tea leaves" personal injury attorney Gordon McKernan put his money where his mouth is in an attempt to keep some of LSU's best college football players in Louisiana.
McKernan sensed that LSU star receiver Kayshon Boutte was being approached by other SEC schools to enter the transfer portal and felt that a NIL or name, image and likeness deal might help persuade the New Iberia native that LSU is where he needed to be.
"Seeing that our star player number one draft choice in the upcoming draft first rounder for sure, was possibly thinking about jumping ship and go into a different school and I don't know what's true or what's not. But like any loyal LSU fan, you get concerned," McKernan said moved him to get involved in the NIL game. "You kept waiting to see what was going to happen was any other business or someone going to jump in and give him a name image and likeness deal? And I just decided it was time to enter into that area and try to make a deal with him," McKernan added as he made his second of two NIL deals.
McKernan started his first NIL deal with LSU Lady Tiger Alexis Morris and feels like there are more on the way. "I think there's a lot of value for helping a student athlete and at the same time helping our company so we're going to do it and hopefully you could do it across multiple sports," McKernan said.
Known for his aggressive advertising campaign for his law practices McKernan saw the NIL deals with LSU athletes as a way to both market for his business but also help the LSU community.
"I understand that most people are not fanatical about their personal injury lawyer I get it right. I'm not selling chicken fingers and I don't do things that move people as well. But for me, it became abundantly clear that the fans and supporters that LSU is particularly football, basketball, baseball, they're fanatical about that. If I can attach myself and my brand to something like that, indirectly I get some of that fanaticism to me. And that's been a great thing already to see in the goodwill that it generates. So that's not I can't do this just a short term, one term, one time thing. It's got to be a long sustained project for me and that's what we're looking forward to doing."
McKernan says that while he plans to make a long-term play with NIL deals, he wants every business to know that no matter what your marketing or advertising budget may be you can get involved in the deals as well.
"You don't have to write a big check and you don't have to put someone on a billboard. I mean, if you're a mom and pop business in a small town in Louisiana, you have someone from that area, you can cut a deal with that individual that student athlete to come in endorse your business and you could give them a free meal as return or if you're a clothing store, you could give them garments to where and they were and they posted on social media. So there's so many ways that people can get involved in the businesses can support our local student athletes and still bring a benefit to their business."
McKernan hopes that is the case as LSU continues to build it's NIL brand and focus, while he tries to gather other local businesses to join the cause and contribute to the betterment of the Tiger's student athletes.
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