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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Fort Thomas Matters Signs Sam Vinson as first "FTM Athlete"

Fort Thomas Matters Publisher Mark Collier signed a marketing deal with NKU basketball star freshman Sam Vinson. Collier, left, with Vinson, and his parents Debbie and Ed. 

Today we are announcing that we've signed NKU and former Highlands basketball star, Sam Vinson, to endorse Fort Thomas Matters digital platform.

It's an exciting day for us and we're thrilled to be able to explore this opportunity with a great athlete in Sam Vinson.  

The Cincinnati Business Courier wrote about this earlier today, noting that the endorsement is the first of its kind at NKU. 

Sam will work with us over the next year to provide exclusive interviews and original content over the next 12 months. 

Vinson, a 6-foot-4 guard who has signed to play for Coach Darrin Horn at NKU, just finished his high school career by leading the Highlands Bluebirds to their first ever Kentucky state title. He is the first "FTM Athlete" to sign a deal with the us.

The signing is part of the tidal wave of change in NCAA college athletics with name, image and likeness rules. We want Sam to focus on the court and classroom, while we help him build out his personal brand. 

"I’m very excited to get to work for Coach Horn and the Norse Nation," Sam told us. "This partnership with Fort Thomas Matters felt like a great fit to me because I’m going to have the ability to focus on my game on the court and not get distracted by opportunities that might be short-term in nature."

Our work with other local companies and organizations includes building comprehensive brands and profiles and that's what I'm most excited about here. We're going to be able to help Sam Vinson grow his personal platforms to accelerate more opportunities for him. Our expectation is that Sam will excel on the court with NKU and we'll be able to help grow his brands so that he's got a nice launching pad into the next level of his career. 

When I first sat down with Sam, it was important to me to get his entire family involved and bought into our vision. Together with his parents, Ed and Debbie, we had lunch and discussed what this might look like for all of us. 

This is a long-term deal that will be a slow burn and will hopefully cover the entire length of Sam Vinson’s collegiate career.

Sam is an incredible ball player and a great kid from a great family who understands we live in a special place. Our visions for this partnership aligns long-term.
Mark Collier congratulates Sam Vinson as the first "FTM Athlete."

Vinson was named the 2021 Gatorade Kentucky Boys Basketball Player of the Year, the second Gatorade Kentucky Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from Highlands High School.

He led the Bluebirds to a 30-4 record and the state championship this past season, averaging 22.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.9 blocks per game while connecting on 56.7 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Vinson tallied 20 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in Highlands’ 79-60 win over Elizabethtown High in the state final to earn State Tournament MVP honors. The 9th Region Player of the Year, he concluded his prep basketball career with 1,791 points.

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