Many people love sporting events and concerts, and some dedicated fans would spend their last dollar to attend. Hunter Waldron gets to see these events for free.
On June 1, 2021, the NCAA started allowing their athletes to benefit from Name, Image, and Likeness, or NIL rights. Before this policy was approved by the NCAA, college athletes did not see a penny of what their hard work and dedication made for their school.
Waldron is a junior goalkeeper for the Cabrini Cavaliers’ lacrosse team. He has a deal with the Wells Fargo Center that allows him to see any event hosted there. He has seen hockey games, box lacrosse games, concerts, and standup comedy. It all started after he received a simple direct message on Instagram.
The start of something special
“I thought it was fake,” Waldron said when he saw the message. “I put in an email to see if it was true, then all of a sudden I got an email from the owners of Wells Fargo Center and they gave me this contract, so it was pretty official.”
When Waldron asked his former head coach, Steve Colfer, what he should do, Colfer sent him to Laura Patton, Cabrini’s associate director of athletics/NCAA compliance.
“I had a hefty contract. I had to give it to Laura Patton and our athletic director. It took about two weeks for them to go through it, read it specifically, and see exactly what this was all about. Once that happened, they read it through, they gave it back and we signed. We have been doing this since last year,” Waldron said.
When asked about the rules and regulations Patton said, “We have to evaluate each contract very closely to ensure it does not violate any NCAA rules, a student’s eligibility, as well as state laws that have been put into effect around NIL.”
How he keeps his deal
Though Waldron gets significant benefits from this deal, such as tickets and merchandise, he must promote the Wells Fargo Center on his Instagram story every time he attends an event, so in the end, both sides benefit.
Waldron said of the responsibility, “I am very on top of it because it is something I would not like to lose. I am given a graphic and a link and I promote it through my Instagram Story.”
Friends, stories, and favorite memories
Waldron receives up to six tickets to each event so he can bring his friends. When asked about his favorite memory, he said, “When the Boston Bruins achieved the points record was the most fun event I’ve been to. The Bruins beat the Flyers, breaking the points record. It was like a Bruins home game in Philly; I didn’t see a single Flyers fan in my section. It was a sold-out crowd, and the place was electric. I’ve never been in an atmosphere like that in my whole life.”
Waldron has also been able to attend other events at the Wells Fargo Center, including Dave Chappelle, who is his favorite comedian, and Lil Baby, who is his favorite rapper. He says it does not get much better than going to all those events with his best friends right by his side.