Atlanta Braves become first MLB team to sign NIL deals with student athletes

UGA gymnast Rachel Baumann and Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates become first two 'Braves Athletes'

August 23rd, 2021

ATLANTA (August 23, 2021) – The Atlanta Braves today announced the signing of NIL contracts with two local student-athletes, University of Georgia gymnast Rachel Baumann and Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates. With this signing, the Braves become the first Major League Baseball team to officially partner with student-athletes since the NCAA and state regulations were passed last month.

On July 7th, the Braves posted on Instagram asking college athletes if they would be interested in working with the team. The three criteria for submission were being a Braves fan, playing at a school in Braves Country, and actively engaging on social media. In addition to over 40,000 engagements with the social media post, the Braves received approximately 500 direct messages from interested athletes.

“We are excited to welcome Rachel and Jordan to the Braves family,” said Greg Mize, Atlanta Braves Senior Director of Marketing and Innovation. “As soon as the new NIL guidelines were set last month, we knew there was an opportunity to highlight the convergence of Braves Country and strong local athletes. For our first partnerships, we wanted to focus on schools in our backyard, and the hope is the program will continue to expand to include student-athletes from throughout Braves Country.”

Baumann and Yates will attend an upcoming Braves game at Truist Park and work closely with the Braves’ social media and marketing team to document their experiences.

Baumann is a Senior at UGA, originally from Plano, Texas. Specializing in beam, Baumann also competes on vault and floor. As a Sophomore, she won three event titles on beam with the high score of the day against Iowa State (9.925), UGA Tri-Meet (9.950), and at Alabama (9.900) and recorded five scores of 9.900 or better on beam.

Yates is a hometown student-athlete out of Alpharetta, Georgia. He was a Red Shirt Freshman at Georgia Tech in 2020 and saw action in three games as a back-up signal caller at Syracuse (Sept. 26), vs. Clemson (Oct. 17) and vs. Pitt (Dec. 10).