ASU women’s tennis senior Cali Jankowski is taking advantage of her final year as the Sun Devil

ASU women’s tennis senior Cali Jankowski is heading into the final stretch of his final year as Sun Devil, taking advantage of his opportunities on and off the court.

Jankowski is a fighter on the court and is the first and only player on the women’s tennis team to have signed a Name Image and Likeness (NIL) agreement that allows her to make money.

She signed a three-month deal with the Flip app through a connection she had with a friend who works for a company that facilitates NIL deals. Jankowski described Flip as the TikTok for female beauty products.

“As a girl, it’s amazing,” she said. “We should have always had the opportunities, so being able to get it now is really amazing because a lot of college athletes have far more influence than they realize, so it’s really cool to be able to make money on it.”

Flip and Jankowski agreed that the company would send her eight products of their choice per month to review and post. In return, Jankowski earns a commission on the number of impressions she gets, how many sign up for the app or buy the product she has reviewed.

While NIL agreements were only approved on July 1, 2021, Jankowski was prepared when the opportunity came.

She wrote her thesis on NIL policies and implications for athletes. Jankowski completed his bachelor’s degree in sports business and earned his master’s degree in digital audience strategy in hopes of working for a professional sports team or program.

For the first time in his career, Jankowski has had an established role in the Sun Devil series. During her freshman campaign, she missed the entire spring season due to a shoulder injury. In her second and junior years, she competed in a total of 17 matches due to competitive playing time as part of a deep list and more unfortunate injury luck.

“Now that she’s back in line and healthy, she’s one of the best players. She’s really good,” said head coach Sheila McInerney.

After her ankle injury early in the season, sophomore Marianna Argyrokastriti called on Jankowski to replace Argykastritis number four in singles. Since then, Jankowski has gone 8-1 in his promotion and run a winning streak of seven games.

READ MORE: ASU women’s tennis hopes Argyrokastriti return is the solution to mid-season problems

“We all play for each other. The opportunity to play four now has been really great,” Jankowski said. “Unfortunate circumstances, how I moved up, but at the same time I have been able to take advantage of it and just play casual and just have fun and enjoy it.”

Last Friday, Jankowski had a comeback walk-off win after falling 2-4 in the third set to take down No. 12 Cal, 4-3.

“She’s sick and she succeeded after she played a three-hour match,” said second-year student Giulia Morlet after the upset victory over Cal.

Although Argyrokastriti has returned from an injury, Jankowski has proven himself in the four-yard box. McInerney said she still plans to make position decisions one match at a time.

McInerney acknowledged that Jankowski has taken full advantage of the NCAA’s new policies, saying she even started practicing tennis lessons for a change.

“It’s amazing and I think you’ll get to see more of it,” McInerney said. “I think it’s great for all the kids because Cali is a smart kid.”

But no matter where she ranks, Jankowski will benefit from what comes into her life.

“It’s my last year, so I might as well have fun with it,” Jankowski said.


Reach the reporter at dstipano@asu.edu and stay tuned @dstipanovichh on Twitter.

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