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

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Tuesday, June 7, 2022

DURHAM, N.C. -- New 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 school announced the hiring of Rachel Baker as the program's first general manager Tuesday. Duke described Baker's role as helping players "enhance their personal and professional skillsets," including NIL partnerships through her experience in sports marketing.

In a statement, Scheyer pointed to Baker's "expertise in the business of basketball" as a resource for players and their families. It comes ahead of the first anniversary of college athletes being allowed to profit 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, one of the apparel maker's signature athletes with his own shoe line.

Baker's year with the NBA included work on a task force for rebranding the WNBA.