Leipsic’s Brandt signs NIL deal

COLUMBUS GROVE — Leipsic graduate Mason Brandt on Tuesday became one of the first student athletes from the University of Findlay to sign a name, image and likeness deal that will allow the freshman basketball player to earn money when his name or image is used in advertisements.

Brandt signed a contract Tuesday with Schroeder Law office in Columbus Grove, the first of its kind for the law firm and title agency, which may eventually use Brandt’s image in advertisements at Leipsic High School or the University of Findlay.

“It’s honestly an honor,” Brandt said.

The contracts are new for college athletes, who were previously prohibited from endorsing products or accepting compensation when their image was used in advertisements until the NCAA revised its rules last June.

An executive order signed by Gov. Mike DeWine soon after the rule change allows college athletes to enter NIL contracts, so long as they notify their schools.

Brandt, who is studying middle childhood education at UF, broke numerous records at Leipsic, including the high school’s all-time scoring record for basketball.

“Mason is one of those rare athletes where he’s the perfect role model that all high schools want your athletes to be,” said Gary Kreinbrink, former athletic director for Leipsic High School, who retired after Brandt’s senior year.

Brandt’s contract with Schroeder Law allows the firm to use his image in future marketing campaigns, which may lead to additional business opportunities for the young athlete, whose first season with UF starts in mid-October.

But Lee Schroeder, a senior partner for Schroeder Law, said the firm’s purpose in drafting the contract was to support Brandt and inspire young athletes in rural northwest Ohio.

“If they work as hard as Mason does,” Schroeder said, “they have a chance to achieve their goals and dreams.”