Local athletes with diabetes get Name Image & Likeness deals to help diabetes community

UTSA soccer player Marlee Fray & Texas State wide receiver Beau Corrales signed NIL deals with Dexcom to help promote dealing with diabetes while competing at highest level

When you think of college athletes signing Name Image and Likeness (NIL) deals to profit off of their notoriety, you don’t expect the reasoning behind why UTSA’s Marlee Fray and Texas State’s Beau Corrales do it.

Both Marlee and Beau were diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at young ages, and usually, that type of diagnosis would be a roadblock to compete at the collegiate level, but not for them.

Their journey with diabetes began with needing to stop to prick their fingers to get a reading on their glucose levels. It wasn’t until high school for Marlee and college for Beau that they were introduced to wearable continuous glucose monitoring devices. UT Health San Antonio’s Dr. Ken Kenneth-Nwosa, who works with Marlee at UTSA, discussed how wearing continuous glucose monitoring devices changed the game for athletes.

“The game-changer has been that it’s wearable, so it’s a wearable tech that you can wear on your upper arm, on your abdomen, or even the upper part of your buttock area,” said Kenneth-Nwosa. “So what that does is ... you can have information transmitted to your cellphone where you’re able to now see, actually share your levels with loved ones, your athletic trainer, and possibly coach to be able to monitor that level and figure out if you need to make any changes to your lifestyle or medications.”

When Dexcom — a continuous glucose monitoring device company — reached out to Marlee and Beau about being part of a NIL campaign called Dexcom U to promote training and competing with a wearable device, they jumped at the opportunity. They shared why partnering with Dexcom through NIL deals means so much to them.

“It’s hard to put in words just how grateful I am to be able to represent a company like Dexcom and to be part of a program that they put together like Dexcom U,” said Beau. “Ultimately, it’s giving us an opportunity to reach a lot more people that we wouldn’t be able to reach on our own and to kind of put our faces out there so that kids that were in my position whenever I first got diagnosed and kind of lost and scared and thinking I’m the only person out here having to go through this, they’re able to look up and see that there’s a class of Dexcom U athletes that are all balling out and handling business on and off the field with their diabetes.”

“One of the biggest, biggest things that I get from them is mentorship,” said Marlee. “I don’t think anything I get from them moneywise or compensation-wise is going to outdo me growing the community because that’s something that I didn’t have growing up. So being able to be such a big part of this, I think it’s awesome. There are so many resources that little kids and their parents can reach out to and see. They’re just helping their kids out to teach them to love themselves at that young of an age.”

The two local athletes are making a difference for the next little athlete who’s worried about their diabetes diagnosis and doesn’t want to give up the sport they love.

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About the Author

Nick Mantas is a KSAT 12 Sports Editor. He has previously worked in Lansing, San Fransisco and Abilene. Nick earned a Master's Degree in Sports Media from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Arizona, where he also interned as a strength and conditioning coach.

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