Courtesy of DrinkPrime (@PrimeHydrate on X)
Time to add another famous name to your list of Prime athletes: Auston Matthews.
A New Addition
The sports drink company Prime, owned by Logan Paul and JJ "KSI" Olatunji, introduced the Toronto Maple Leafs center as its latest partner on Wednesday.
With this sponsorship deal, Matthews joins Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, Aston Villa forward Alisha Lehmann, and UFC featherweight Alexander Volkanovski as Prime’s signed professional athletes.
Courtesy of KSI NEWS (@ksinews_ on X)
Paul and KSI Drop Hints
Logan Paul and KSI were in Toronto this weekend promoting the energy drink when the World Wrestling Entertainment-contracted Paul hinted that they “may have” signed someone from the Maple Leafs.
"We may have just signed someone from the Toronto Maple Leafs to Prime," Paul told fans at Yonge-Dundas Square. "I can't say who it is yet, but be on the lookout because we got another big signing."
The Public’s Thoughts
After the news of this endorsement deal was released to the public, I polled people across my social media, asking their thoughts on the deal.
Brandon says, “It’s definitely good on the marketing side of things regarding the NHL. It definitely is a step in the right direction to opening up more people to the sport.”
John says, “They basically put BioSteel out of business.”
Giada says, “I think it’s kind of a genius idea on both parts. The hockey world is being expanded and all the people who drink Prime will be like, ‘Yo! Let’s watch hockey!’ Also, all the people watching hockey will be like, ‘Matthews drinks Prime so I should buy some.’ So, really, it’s just great advertisement for both the NHL and Prime.”
Lucy says, “I definitely wasn’t expecting it!”
Zach says, “I think it’s very cool, and actually a great opportunity for the NHL as well. The uniforms are super clean, too.”
Bree says, “It’s good marketing since Prime is normally centered around soccer and the UFC. Now that it’s spreading to hockey, hopefully the NHL will gain some more traction.”
Carly says, “With the deal, many people are seeing and hearing things about hockey, the NHL, the players, and the fans. Overall, it was really surprising, but hopefully good for the league.”
Though responses varied, the main idea is clear: though surprising, the Auston Matthews sponsorship deal with Prime will hopefully increase views and engagement for the NHL.
Courtesy of Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Matthews’ Current Stats
With the addition of Prime, Auston Matthews, at 26-year-old, now has sponsorship deals with RBC Royal Bank and Bet99.
Matthews is on pace to become the highest-paid player in the NHL, with an average annual value of $13.5 million that kicks in during the 2024-25 season. Matthews signed his four-year extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Aug. 23, totalling $53 million.
For reference, Matthews currently earns $11.64 million per year based on the five-year, $58.195 million deal he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in February 2019.
Help or Hindrance?
Though many think this endorsement deal will be good for the NHL, the Leafs, and hockey across North America, others believe it’s putting “better” brands out of business.
Regardless, this deal is quite a monumental one. It’s sure to make waves across the NHL this season, but especially next season (2024-2025), as Matthews' new, higher salary will kick in.