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UCLA’s Myles Johnson quenches thirst for NIL deal with beverage company

Rutgers' Myles Johnson (15) reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game.
Myles Johnson reacts during a game against Indiana in March while playing for Rutgers. Johnson transferred to UCLA in April.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Myles Johnson was scrolling through Instagram recently when he came across promoted content from Hint Water. The San Francisco-based beverage company was seeking college students to hawk its brand as an alternative to soda and other sugary drinks.

It was an easy sell.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I actually drink their stuff,’” Johnson, the UCLA graduate transfer center from Rutgers, recalled, “so I was like, yeah, I’ll do that.”

And so was born one of the latest name, image and likeness deals involving Bruins basketball players. Junior guard Johnny Juzang is hosting a skills clinic for youth basketball players — at $100 a pop — Sunday in Hacienda Heights, and junior guard Jake Kyman is promoting Fitted Laundry on his website, offering the code “KYMAN10” at checkout for a 10% discount on the pickup laundry service.

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Johnson is a natural ambassador for Hint Water as someone who already enjoys their watermelon and peach flavors. As part of his agreement with the company that starts in September, he will promote its brand on social media while receiving free water and roughly $16 an hour. Johnson said a member of UCLA’s spirit squad has also agreed to promote the brand.

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“You do an Instagram post a month and stuff on your [social media] story and they send you water and everyone [on the team] can have some,” Johnson said. “So hopefully everyone will get a little bit of benefit from it.”

Johnson said he liked the taste of Hint Water, which alleviated his struggles to stay hydrated.

“For me, water’s really bland and I’ll try to drink less Gatorade because it has a lot of sugar that you don’t really need,” Johnson said, “and [Hint Water is] lower in sugar and it gives your water a little bit of taste too, so that’s what I like about it.”

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How much time did Johnson anticipate devoting to his new endeavor on top of his studies in the graduate school of engineering and the basketball team?

“Probably not that much,” he said. “It’s just posting a picture, taking it and then meeting with them and setting things up, so I don’t see it as something that’s going to take any time, really.”


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