Olympic Gold Medalist Lydia Jacoby Signs NIL Deal with Arena

ATHLETE: LYDIA JACOBY PHOTOGRAPHER: MIKE LEWIS IMAGE USE: FULL BUYOUT
Lydia Jacoby; Photo Courtesy: Arena

Olympic Gold Medalist Lydia Jacoby Signs NIL Deal with Arena

Lydia Jacoby, the gold medalist in the women’s 100 breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympic Games, has signed an endorsement deal with Arena, the company announced Friday.

Jacoby just wrapped up her high school career at Seward High in Alaska. She’ll swim next fall at the University of Texas. The Arena deal is made possible by new NCAA governance over name, image and likeness (NIL) that went into effect last summer.

 

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Jacoby became the first Alaskan to qualify for the Olympics for the United States at trials last year. She pulled a surprise in the women’s 100 breast, with a stunning come-from-behind final 50 to win the gold medal. She added a silver medal in the women’s 400 medley and was part of the team that finished fifth in the mixed medley relay.

ATHLETE: LYDIA JACOBY PRODUCTS: Carbon Glide - 003663-455 PHOTOGRAPHER: MIKE LEWIS IMAGE USE: FULL BUYOUT

Lydia Jacoby; Photo Courtesy: Arena

“The last year has been incredible, full of big moments like winning Olympic Gold,” Jacoby said in a company press release. “I’m so thrilled to continue this amazing time in my life by signing with arena. In addition to having products I love and use, it’s a dream come true to be working with such a wonderful team and company. I can’t wait to share the next chapter in my journey with the Arena family!”

A native of Anchorage, Jacoby started swimming at age 6 at her local club. She had planned to attend the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 as a spectator, but the postponement by a year by the COVID-19 pandemic allowed her to continue flourishing as a swimmer to get there on her own merit. During the pandemic, her family rented an apartment in Anchorage so that she could train at the partially open facility.

“We couldn’t be happier to add Lydia to our team,” said Mark Pinger, GM of arena North America.  “Clearly she is an extraordinary talent, as the past year has shown, but there’s also so much more to her: she’s determined, courageous, positive, upbeat, these attributes are part of her core, as they are with arena, and we couldn’t be more optimistic about this partnership.  Having just had the amazing opportunity to spend time with Lydia and her family in her home town of Seward, we are equally excited about Lydia the person as we are about Lydia the swimmer and we believe she will be a great ambassador for the sport.  Seeing her setup with access to only a 25-yard pool, we believe her future in swimming will be very bright and we consider ourselves lucky to be by her side and support her as we emerge from a period that has been very difficult for all.”

Jacoby is the latest in a long line of swimmers who have availed themselves of the new NIL rules to profit while in college. Functionally, it means they don’t have to choose between endorsement deals and college eligibility as in years past.

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