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NEWS: NCAA XC Champion & 5k Record Holder, Graham Blanks, Signs NIL Deal With New Balance

Earlier today, Harvard's Graham Blanks, in conjunction with Citius Mag, announced that he has signed a "Name, Image and Likeness" (NIL) deal with New Balance. The signing comes after a month of dominance from Blanks who won the 2023 individual cross country national title and later ran the outright NCAA 5k record of 13:03 at the Boston U. Season Opener.

It should be noted that both Harvard and New Balance's headquarters are based in the Greater Boston area.

The rapidly rising NCAA star has found major success over the last year. Outside of his recent cross country national title and 13:03 (5k) NCAA record, Blanks has also run times of 3:56 (mile), 7:44 (3k) and 28:15 (10k). Blanks finished 2nd (5k) and 6th (10k) at last year's outdoor national meet before putting together an undefeated season on the grass.

Blanks' recent NIL signing is an important development as it likely indicates (but by no means guarantees) that the Ivy League superstar will remain in the NCAA during his lead up to the Olympic Trials this summer, or at least for the winter months.

In the age of NIL, New Balance has become an increasingly involved player in the track and field and cross country scenes. Prior to signing Blanks, the Boston-based athletic brand had also signed a slew of high school stars as well as current Georgetown rookie, Tinoda Matsatsa. One of the first NIL signings that New Balance made was current Stanford sophomore, Roisin Willis, the 2023 indoor national champion over 800 meters.


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