ESPN today shed more light on the signing of Gable Steveson by WWE, saying that the Olympic gold medalist signed a multi-year deal.
Steveson signed a NIL deal – name, image, and likeness – which will allow him to complete his studies at University of Minnesota for his senior year and defend the Division I national championship at heavyweight. WWE will help his development while in Minnesota by setting up a remote training facility near the campus where he will train with WWE coaches.
After Steveson graduates in May, his talent contract will kick off and he will be full time with WWE.
“I’ve been on WWE since I was really young,” said Steveson. “I was on guys like Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for a very long time. So growing up watching them, me being an entertainer on the wrestling mat, it just felt like it was the right choice.”
WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan said, “We all saw his physical ability prior to and at the Olympics. What we also saw was that Gable has as much charisma as he does ability. Marketability and ability are both of great importance to us.”
Khan said that the finish line is “nowhere close” so WWE’s investment in Steveson is based on how much they think of him now and how much bigger they think he can become.
“Gable impressed us well before he became a U.S. Olympic gold medalist,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque. “He has all the tools to be a generational talent: a world-class athlete with size, speed, determination – and the ability to captivate an audience with his incredible charisma.
“The introduction of NIL allows us to create a more direct path from college to WWE, a benefit to athletes as well as the WWE universe, as Gable will have an immediate presence with our company while working towards earning his degree and defending his national championship. The future is bright for him in WWE,” Triple H concluded.