LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Before the ink was even dry on the NCAA’s new interim policy allowing college athletes to make money off their own names, images and likenesses (NIL), Lafayette was putting together one of the very first of such deals in the nation.
Ragin’ Cajun senior quarterback Levi Lewis was announced as the new face of Lafayette Travel’s EatLafayette campaign today. The agreement, which was finalized Wednesday night, is believed to be one of the first in the state and the nation.
“I am excited to announce my first partnership with Lafayette Travel and EatLafayette to promote our areas locally-owned restaurants,” Lewis said. “Blessed to represent the world’s best cuisine in the Acadiana region. The Culture is real. It feels great to be leading the way in this brand new NIL reality and showing what is possible here in Lafayette.”
According to Lafayette Travel, Lewis will act as an Athletic Ambassador, visiting 10 locally-owned restaurants and leveraging his role as a social media influencer to encourage others to join him in participating in the summer-long EatLafayette campaign. He will also push the EatLafayette passport, encouraging diners to check in at a locally-owned restaurant for a chance to win a three-night stay in Nashville, Tenn., including airfare.
“I have watched this process play out in the national media and wanted to be among the first to honor it in a trustworthy manner,” said Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission President & CEO Ben Berthelot. “My mind kept coming back to Levi. I couldn’t think of a better person or athlete than Levi Lewis for us to partner with on this historic occasion. As a graduate of the University of Louisiana and a lifelong fan who started going to games with his Young Ragin’ Cajun card at an early age, I recognize the importance of our university and its athletic department’s success to the overall success of our community. The NIL is now a new reality. In my opinion, it is important that our athletes and future athletes know that they can benefit from the program here in Lafayette and Acadiana. I’m proud that Levi entrusted us with this first of undoubtedly many opportunities to come. I know he will represent us well. Geaux Cajuns!”