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Duke hires former Nike, NBA staffer Rachel Baker as GM to assist players with NIL


DURHAM, N.C. — Latest Duke men’s basketball coach Jon Scheyer has hired a former Nike and NBA staffer for a newly created role with duties that include overseeing name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities for Blue Devils players.

The college announced the hiring of Rachel Baker as this system’s first general manager Tuesday. Duke described Baker’s role as helping players “enhance their personal and skilled skillsets,” including NIL partnerships through her experience in sports marketing.

In a press release, Scheyer pointed to Baker’s “expertise within the business of basketball” as a resource for players and their families. It comes ahead of the primary anniversary of faculty athletes being allowed to benefit from their fame through NIL endorsements.

Baker spent eight years at Nike working with grassroots partnerships and event strategy for the Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), which features top prep prospects. She also managed strategic initiatives between Nike and NBA star Kevin Durant, certainly one of the apparel maker’s signature athletes along with his own shoe line.

Baker’s 12 months with the NBA included work on a task force for rebranding the WNBA.

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