Football player Tyler Batty was about to make BYU sports history a few weeks ago, along with teammate Austin Riggs. The former roommates were excited and grateful.

But concerns about how the news would be received by their teammates kept creeping into Batty’s mind.

“Everyone seems genuinely happy for us. There hasn’t been any jealousy or animosity at all. We have a lot of good dudes in the locker room, so it has mostly been people saying ‘congrats’ and ‘that’s cool’ and ‘good job,’ things like that.” — BYU defensive end Tyler Batty on signing an NIL deal with a company that makes lip balm

What if they are jealous or envious? What if they are wondering why the deal didn’t go to a more well-known student-athlete?

Turns out, the friends and roommates had nothing to be worried about.

“Everyone seems genuinely happy for us,” Batty told the Deseret News last week, a week after the deal was made public. “There hasn’t been any jealousy or animosity at all. We have a lot of good dudes in the locker room, so it has mostly been people saying ‘congrats’ and ‘that’s cool’ and ‘good job,’ things like that.”

On July 7, Balmshot LLC, an Idaho-based company that sells “specially formulated, proprietary lip balms canistered in patented, authentic 20-gauge shotgun shells” announced via a news release that it had finalized “endorsement agreements” with Batty and Riggs to represent them on social media sites and through other channels and events.

Batty, a defensive lineman, and Riggs, a walk-on deep snapper, are believed to be the first BYU athletes to land name, image and likeness (NIL) deals after the NCAA changed its rules earlier in the month to allow student-athletes to be paid for the use of their names, personas, etc.

Since then, BYU tight end Isaac Rex and safety Chaz Ah You and Utah receiver Britain Covey have signed with Utah-based Oncoor Sports Marketing, an agency for NFL and NBA athletes that can now move into college athlete representation with the new NCAA rules permitting it.

BYU long snapper Austin Riggs, No. 84, prepares take the field during game against Troy on Sept. 26, 2020. | Jaren Wilkey/BYU

But Batty and Riggs could be the first athletes to profit off the new NIL legislation in the entire state. Terms of the deal were not disclosed publicly, and Batty would like to keep it that way.

“I love the product, it’s a great product,” Batty said, noting that he used Balmshot lip balm before he even signed the deal. ‘’One of the company’s owners (Danny Walker) kinda said it best: It is a match made in heaven. The way things worked out, it was pretty awesome.”

So how did a small company from Eagle, Idaho, become involved with two lesser-known BYU football players to make history?

So how did a small company from Eagle, Idaho, become involved with two lesser-known BYU football players to make history?

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Batty, who starred at Payson High before serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Madrid, Spain, says the genesis of the talks came during a cattle drive, of all things, in Idaho last May. He met Walker through some family connections, and Riggs is from Eagle and was already acquainted with the family.

“They were already on the lookout, kind of scouting out possibilities, through a couple of people, and things were just lining up really well, especially because we had started a nonprofit that helps kids with special needs as well,” Batty said. “We already had a similar vision.”

A little while ago, Batty and Riggs created a nonprofit called Edward’s Hands that gives experiences with horses — called equine therapy — to youngsters in Utah County with disabilities. The nonprofit is named after the son of BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb. Lamb’s son is on the autism spectrum and has taken advantage of the program.

Batty said his father began the practice of taking children with special needs on horseback rides as a form of therapy. BYU linebacker Drew Jensen is also involved in the charity.

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Walker, one of Balmshot’s owners, has a son with Down Syndrome. The company employs a half-dozen or so adults with disabilities to make its products, Batty said.

“Balmshot has an awesome mission. They aren’t just trying to make money,” Batty said. “And that aligned with what we are trying to do with Edward’s Hands. Everything just clicked.”

When it became time to negotiate the partnership, Batty and Riggs took what they learned from a program that BYU and head football coach Kalani Sitake have set up called Built4Life, and had some good discussions with Walker, an attorney who graduated from BYU’s law school, before putting pen to paper.

“When it came down to negotiating things, Danny really wanted to keep it simple,” Batty said. “I mean, he definitely wasn’t trying to take advantage of us. He really wanted it to be as mutually beneficial as possible, as beneficial for his company and brand as it would be for us.”

Mission accomplished — so far.

“Balmshot is honored to break new ground in the support of college athletes at BYU and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to expand the awareness of a fantastic product with a special mission through the BYU community and beyond,” Walker said in a company news release. “We are confident both Tyler and Austin will make strong brand ambassadors and make an impact on the special needs community in the process.”

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With the 2021 football season set to begin in six weeks, Batty and Riggs will mostly work on their football and occasionally promote the products on social media.

“We are also going to get some in-person events rolling, possibly one this fall and another one next spring,” Batty said. “The majority of what we will be doing is just kinda getting the word out. Right now, it will be largely marketed to people who follow BYU football, especially.”

And those teammates? Some of them have never been more interested in lip balm, Batty said with a chuckle.

“Guys are asking if we can get them involved as well, and so it has been good,” he said. “With NIL going through, I think there is a lot of fear right now about whether (other student-athletes) are going to get their feelings hurt, or how it could negatively affect the locker room.

“But we haven’t seen that at BYU, which is kind of a unique place,” he continued. “Coach Sitake has done a phenomenal job of developing a culture at BYU of love and learning, and just taking care of the guy next to you, and so I don’t think a lot of guys are worried or jealous.”

And chapped lips are definitely a thing of the past.