“King of NIL” Rayquan Smith on How to Market Yourself with Hustle


Rejection is not “no”Rayquan Smith doesn’t care about “rejection”. After companies initially denied the opportunity to work with Smith, many of them changed their minds as he proved his brand and marketing value.

Origin Story “The King of NIL” – Social media is more than a place to post fun content. Rayquan Smith found his nickname, King of NIL, on Twitter and immediately leaned in. Searching now”King of NIL” on Google will lead you to articles about Rayquan Smith.

The right partner is the best partner – Norfolk State is not a “Power 5” conference school. However, student athletes like Rayquan Smith who attend smaller schools are hungry, hardworking, and willing to do whatever it takes to execute a plan, making them the perfect NIL representatives.


Calling yourself the “king” of everything is ambitious to say the least. For Student Athlete in Norfolk State Rayquan Smiththe “King of the NIL” was earned through a relentless belief in oneself and the ability to deal with hearing “no” until you hear “yes”.

“I don’t really care about rejection,” said Rayquan “King of NIL” Smith on the Restaurant Influencers podcast hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. “Everyone is rejected. And rejection is not a no.”

That perseverance and determination has led Rayquan Smith to close nearly 80 deals with various companies ranging from local businesses to major corporations like Eastbay and Champ Sports, and the restaurant company Bubba’s 33. That’s all despite being an athlete at a small scale. university with an enrollment just north of 5,000 students.

NIL stands for Name, Image, Resemblance. It refers to the ways student athletes can now capitalize on their personal brand.

The NCAA passed a rule stating that college players, who were notoriously unable to monetize their personal brand as student athletes, could now earn money based on endorsements using one of three NIL elements: name, image and likeness.

The question is how did the NIL master manage to land such a large number of sponsorship deals as a student-athlete at a small university?

As Rayquan simply puts it, “the great athletes are not always the good people to work with.” He sees the small market as an asset to athletes and encourages them to take advantage of it like him.

Rayquan Smith probably isn’t a name most people will recognize at first, but it’s one you should get to know. From a young age, he has found an effective way to market himself and help others do the same. He certainly has no intention of stopping here.

As he grows and moves beyond college, he’s eager to pass the torch to NIL’s next king.


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