Syracuse Orange: Benny Williams, Judah Mintz and others score NIL deals

Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Six Syracuse Orange student-athletes, spanning football, basketball and lacrosse, have forged new name, image and likeness (“NIL”) deals, according to a recent press release.

The NIL agreements for these ‘Cuse players are with Apex Entertainment, a family entertainment destination, and 110 Grill, a restaurant brand in the Northeast. Both are based in Westford, Mass., and have locations at Destiny USA in Syracuse, N.Y.

Per a joint announcement from the two companies, the half-dozen NIL deals are with Syracuse Orange basketball players Benny Williams, Judah Mintz and Kyra Wood, lacrosse players Joey Spallina and Emma Ward, and football quarterback Garrett Shrader.

A huge congratulations to these six ‘Cuse student-athletes. Financial terms of the NIL agreements were not disclosed.

Syracuse Orange players in several sports have landed new NIL deals.

Williams and Spallina are returning “brand ambassadors” for Apex Entertainment and 110 Grill, while Wood, Ward, Mintz and Shrader are new brand ambassadors for this NIL program during the 2023-24 season.

Former Syracuse Orange student-athletes who had NIL agreements with Apex Entertainment and 110 Grill include Buddy Boeheim, Sean Tucker and Joe Girard III, among others.

The 6-foot-9 Williams, from Bowie, Md., is a junior forward with Syracuse basketball. The 6-foot-3 Mintz, who is from Fort Washington, Md., is a sophomore point guard for Orange hoops, and he made the Atlantic Coast Conference’s All-Freshman team a season ago.

The 6-foot-3 Wood is a junior forward with Syracuse women’s basketball, and she hails from Buffalo, N.Y.

The 5-foot-11 Spallina, out of Mount Sinai, N.Y., is a sophomore attackman for ‘Cuse men’s lacrosse. In the 2023 term, he was named the ACC’s freshman of the year. Ward, a 5-foot-2 attack for Syracuse Orange women’s lacrosse, is a junior from Babylon, N.Y.

Last but not least, the 6-foot-4 Shrader is a senior from Charlotte, N.C. The dual-threat quarterback is off to a fantastic start in the young 2023 season for Syracuse football, and he was tremendous this past Saturday night when the ‘Cuse defeated Purdue on the road.

News of these six NIL deals comes about a week after a new commercial NIL collective, called Orange United, launched in Central New York. Managed by the Atlanta-based Student Athlete NIL (“SANIL”), Orange United has an impressive board of directors in place.

Additionally, long-time Syracuse Crunch executive Mark Hayes on Monday started in his new role as the general manager of Orange United, which will forge NIL deals with student-athletes in all ‘Cuse sports.

NIL efforts supporting the Syracuse Orange appear headed in an extremely positive direction. As another example, roughly a week ago, the ‘Cuse Athletics Fund, the official fundraising arm of SU Athletics, said in a post on X that as of September 2023, there were 200 active donors in its “Legends Society,” up from 100 active donors in March 2022. That, too, is highly encouraging.

Next. Syracuse Orange: Looking at On3 NIL Valuations of top-five ‘Cuse players. dark