RBY: A New-found Freedom for the £25,000-a-year RBY

Roman Bravo-Young, a two-time national wrestling champion for Penn State, has a simple philosophy about endorsements and the Name, Image, and Likeness rules, which now allow him to pursue deals and put some money in his pocket. He is one of the biggest names in college wrestling and has his own distinct style, so he has more options than most college athletes. Nonetheless, Bravo-Young stated that he is not willing to simply associate his name with a product and serve as a spokesperson for it. He stated that he needs to find a more meaningful connection to the company, the brand, or the product itself before putting his name behind it. “I just don’t want to be a social media advertisement,” he explained. “My profession is wrestling.” I didn’t want to post brands and other nonsense, so I usually just post what I like.” With a little help from Success With Honor, the NIL collective at Penn State, he landed his most recent deal with Snap Custom Pizza and Salads. Bravo-Young said he liked Snap’s unconventional plan for using him, which included wrestling camps and his inspiration for custom pizzas, but most of all, he just liked what Snap does. Snap has a location in downtown State College, and Bravo-Young claims that frequent visits there have worn out his meal allotment card. “I’m a big believer in values,” he explained. “We share the same values, excellence on and off the mat, and being nice to people, but I eat there a lot.” So it’s simply a good fit. I met them and like them. And the activities they have planned for me are pretty cool.” Bravo-name Young’s and likeness are also associated with Montirez gear and Kill Cliff energy drinks. He has his own wrestling shoe and appears on podcasts and other platforms with large sports fan bases, such as Barstool Sports. Bravo-Young is well-positioned to capitalize on the NIL space right now and to continue building his brand following his final competitive season at Penn State. RBY is returning at 133 pounds after winning back-to-back national championships, and he says NIL money played a big part in his decision. The pursuit of a third NCAA title might not have happened if not for the newfound freedom. “I definitely came back for the NIL,” Bravo-Young said. “I’ve got a little money now, so why not?” Why not get paid for something I’m still doing every day? I don’t have much to prove, but why not if I’m getting paid? One more year of dormancy, you know, the college experience.” Make no mistake, Bravo-Young has the luxury of finding motivation in money because his wrestling training and focus are unwavering. He also stated that he is fully aware of how quickly the NIL well can run dry if his focus wanes and his wrestling game suffers. As a result, he’ll embark on that final journey with a proven ability to compartmentalize his other initiatives. His wrestling and NIL worlds are separate because he knows they must be if he is to continue to be successful in both. “I’m not afraid to put myself out there,” Bravo-Young said. “I’ve worked on it over the years.” “I have my brand and I know my name holds some weight, and I just want to keep it going. But at the end of the day, just got to keep working hard and winning, because people are going to like you when you’re winning. If you’re not winning, no one cares. If you’re losing, it’s next man up.” When it comes to the future, Bravo-Young has already signed an NIL marketing deal with mixed martial arts manager Dave Martin, which was reported by MMA reporter Ariel Helwani as Bravo-Young being “en route to MMA soon.” He already trains MMA in the offseason, so the connections are clearly there for a smooth transition. The one hold-up? As much as he loves MMA and is very likely to perform there at a very high level, Bravo-Young also said he isn’t in a hurry to give up wrestling. On the contrary, he said he plans on following that path as far as he can go before flipping to MMA. “That’s a no-brainer,” Bravo-Young said. “If anything, [wrestling] is the first thing. No one’s ever in a rush to go to MMA. I’m not in a rush for that.” While wrestling has made all of these extra pursuits possible, Bravo-Young doesn’t view it as a stepping stone by means. Even now, with a whole wide world of possibilities ahead of him, he’ll always view himself as a wrestler above all else. “I have two national titles,” he said. “I like to say when people ask that I’m living my dream every single day. I wake up and I train for a living. You can’t complain, you know?” Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.