David Curtiss Teams Up With Speedo For Collaboration Under New NIL Ruleset

Speedo is a SwimSwam partner, but this is not a sponsored article.

USA Swimming National Teamer David Curtiss announced a collaboration with swimwear brand Speedo on Thursday, as the two have joined forces to work together to help promote Curtiss and the messages he wants to share with the world.

 

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A post shared by David Curtiss (@_davidcurtiss)

Curtiss, 19, is set to enter his freshman year at NC State, and this type of collaboration was not previously possible for an athlete if they wanted to remain NCAA-eligible until the organization’s recent suspension of its limitations regarding athletes benefiting from their name, image and likeness (NIL).

Student-athletes are now able to accept money from businesses in exchange for the company featuring them in advertisements or products, along with using their status as an athlete to promote their public appearances for companies.

Photo: Aidan Medina

While Curtiss’ work with Speedo is not contractual, it would not have been possible if not for the new ruleset, implemented on July 1.

“With the new NIL ruleset, I am able to promote myself and my personal message with companies that want to support it,” Curtiss told SwimSwam. “Speedo has been an absolute blessing, as they are great people who truly want to help me promote my message, that swimming is for everyone.”

Curtiss, the Independent and Overall National High School Record holder in the boys’ 50 yard freestyle, is working with the brand for some social media releases, with their #MakeWaves collaboration helping promote the idea that swimming is for people from all walks of life.

“Having this new ruleset opens up so many opportunities to learn more about swimming companies and create relationships earlier, which helps in the long run.”

Curtiss is coming off a wildly successful high school career that included breaking the aforementioned National HS 50 free record in a time of 19.11, which immediately puts him in contention for a national title in the event in his freshman year with the Wolfpack.

In the long course pool, Curtiss was the silver medalist in the 50 free at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest, and established a lifetime best of 21.87 this past January to maintain his ranking as the third-fastest American of all-time in the boys’ 17-18 age group.

The Hamilton YMCA Aquatic Club member was a finalist in the men’s 50 free at last month’s U.S. Olympic Trials, finishing sixth overall in a time of 22.12.

David Curtiss Photo Shoot

All photos courtesy of Aidan Medina

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NICK
4 months ago

The article says “While Curtiss’ work with Speedo is not contractual” which I assume means he is not getting paid – even though this enhances the Speedo brand. If so he is being shortchanged.

asdf
Reply to  NICK
4 months ago

True, although it might open up the door for a future partnership

Tomek
Reply to  NICK
4 months ago

I hope your assumption is incorrect and Curtis does get paid for his photo sessions

PVSFree
Reply to  NICK
4 months ago

Is there anything preventing him doing contractual work with Speedo in the new rules?

PVSFree
4 months ago

This seems like a fantastic collaboration, and I’m glad Speedo and Curtiss are working to reduce racial disparities in our sport.

I have a question about how the new NIL ruleset works though – how do the various brands an athlete interacts with play in with the brand the school may be affiliated with? IIRC, NC State typically wears Arena gear – is Curtiss allowed to wear Speedo gear while competing with NC State?

Admin
Reply to  PVSFree
4 months ago

The rules at present are unclear and vague, because of the way it was done – the NCAA basically had to emergency waive the rules without any new guardrails in place to sidestep the lawsuits.

Some iterations have discussed this – that athlete sponsorships can’t conflict with team sponsorships.

Charge
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

And every state has it’s own rules to govern this. So, as I understand it, in some states HS kids could ink deals and not lose eligibility for HS, other states cannot.

Could be wrong

Swimmer
Reply to  PVSFree
4 months ago

My team is Speedo but we are allowed to race in whatever fast suits we are most comfortable with. I think much of it comes down to coaching staff and the contract signed

Erik
Reply to  Swimmer
4 months ago

Your coaches chose not to enforce the expectations of their contract then.

Caleb
Reply to  Erik
4 months ago

they’re doing the right thing

Doconc
Reply to  PVSFree
4 months ago

He is in a relationship with speedo because he’s fast, not black

Times are color blind

Last edited 4 months ago by Doconc
thezwimmer
Reply to  Doconc
4 months ago

What does that have anything to do with the comment you replied to?

Doconc
Reply to  thezwimmer
4 months ago

Pvsfree said Speedo is working to eliminate racial disparities by signing him

I said they signed him because he is fast

Is that not clear?

Patrick
Reply to  Doconc
4 months ago

Your post came across kind of accusatory when I read it. When I went back and read what you were responding to I was surprised that Pvsfree’s post didn’t seem offensive at all. Since Curtiss says that Speedo wants to help him promote his message of swimming being for everybody, it seems likely that they’re working with him both because he’s fast and because he’s a prominent example of diversity in swimming.

Li Shu
Reply to  Doconc
4 months ago

Sadly I think Speedo signed him because he’s black. His Instagram caption says it all.

Here Comes Lezak
4 months ago

Hope my dude is getting paid! He sure deserves to do so and I love his message. The water is for everyone!

JCO
4 months ago

Who is NC State’s suit sponsor? If not Speedo, could there be an issue next season or will Speedo let him wear another brand’s suit?

SWIM DOG
Reply to  JCO
4 months ago

Pretty sure they’re Arena

JCO
Reply to  SWIM DOG
4 months ago

I wonder if he’ll be able to keep doing Speedo promotions into the school year. I would think Arena would be against that and want him wearing their gear and suits since they are the ones sponsoring his college team.

Kachow
Reply to  JCO
4 months ago

Pretty sure he also wore mizuno for most of his best races in high school. The new speedo suits still don’t feel as good as a mizuno.

jvog88
Reply to  JCO
4 months ago

Well…unless Arena starts paying him to wear their suit, perhaps they should mind their own business.

JCO
Reply to  jvog88
4 months ago

Why would Arena want to give free suits and gear to NC State if one of their top swimmers isn’t going to wear it? The whole point of team suit sponsorships is for the brands to get seen being used at the highest level by the top swimmers.

Erik
Reply to  JCO
4 months ago

Outside NCAA competition he wears speedo.

Swimmom
Reply to  JCO
4 months ago

Arena

Coach Macgyver
4 months ago

Congrats on the collaboration. Just got to say it though, the first picture looks like he’s about to mad hit up the kiddie play area.

Taa
4 months ago

Speedo: David you are the future of swimming and an inspiration to all
David: Great lets collaborate and promote the sport. By the way I’m allowed to be compensated for my time now.
Speedo: Okay good to know here is a free T-shirt

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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