It will strive to use the NCAA’s new NIL rules to create a new avenue into its developmental system.
Over the years, many WWE stars have taken the step up from NXT to the main rosters of Raw and SmackDown, and this new class will hopefully increase the number of young talents coming through the pipeline.
The company has highlighted 15 individuals from 13 universities across the USA who will join the new program.
Inducted athletes will benefit from financial compensation as well as “brand building, media training, communications, live-event promotion, creative writing and community relations” at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
The class, designed to help recruit and develop rising talent interested in working with WWE, will be headlined by sporting twin sisters Haley and Hanna Cavinder.
But who are these stars who are playing such a huge role in WWE’s latest venture?
Who are Haley and Hanna Cavinder?
The Cavinder sisters are basketball players from Fresno State University and they have already established their own brand and social media presence.
The 20-year-olds boast an impressive social outreach. With more than 678,000 combined followers on Instagram and a hefty 3.8 million following their joint TikTok account, the twins are certainly the biggest names on the NIL roster in terms of media status.
In July, the Cavinders joined Boost Mobile as spokeswomen for the brand and featured on a billboard in Times Square. They have also signed partnership deals with the likes of PSD Underwear and Eastbay.
Not only can the Cavinders use this platform as a way to further expand their personal status, but WWE can capitalise on their already well-established presence by bringing in new fan interactions, views and engagement.
Icon Source vice president of collegiate Drew Butler said: “They understand the platform and influence that they have, and they’re not shying away from any opportunity.
“That’s probably why WWE wanted to reach out to them. Now, they have an opportunity to go out and create a successful, interesting endorsement opportunity.”
More than a decade after iconic tag teammates the Bella Twins made their WWE debut, the company is once again using the power of sisterhood to spearhead a new era.
Who else is joining WWE NIL?
Six of the enrolled 15 Next In Line athletes are powerful women who compete in basketball and track and field events.
Alongside the Cavinder sisters, track stars Riley White, Masai Russel, and Aleeya Hutchins will join the program, as well as Duke basketball player Lexi Gordon.
Two men already in wrestling are also on the roster — A.J. Ferrari from Oklahoma State and University of Michigan’s Mason Parris.