HOOVER, Ala. – Forsyth Central graduate Laney Kronz signed a name, image and likeness partnership with Baba Java Coffee in Hoover, Alabama – the first ever with a University of Alabama at Birmingham track athlete.
Kronz, who graduated from Central in 2020, competes in the pentathlon and heptathlon for the Blazers.
“I had been to Baba Java and I knew almost all of their baristas before they started talking about sponsoring someone,” Kronz said in a press release. “I think coffee brings people together. I’m so excited about this partnership. I love being creative with my social media posts and inviting people to Baba Java. It’s right up my alley.”
Brad Haynes, vice president of operations for Baba Java, said after NCAA rules changed to allow student-athletes to capitalize on their NIL, he and shop owners Nathan and Wendi Parvin wanted to get involved.
“We thought it would be a cool idea to support a local athlete and increase Baba Java’s reach into the downtown Birmingham area," Haynes said in a press release. "We wanted someone who was likeable, liked coffee, had a responsible social media presence and would represent Baba Java well.”
Haynes and the Parvins spoke with a friend, Fellowship of Christian Athletes UAB campus representative Sarah Witkowski, who recommended Laney.
“After meeting Laney, we knew she would be a great person to be our partner,” Haynes said.
Laney graduated with honors from Forsyth Central, and as a freshman at UAB, she finished ninth in the Conference USA Indoor Championships in the pentathlon and 11th in the Outdoor Championships in heptathlon.
She had personal-best finishes in both championships. [The pentathlon includes the 800- meter run, 60-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot put. The heptathlon includes the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meters dash, high jump, long jump, 800-meter run, shot put and javelin.]
Laney, who plans to major in kinesiology, is a student leader for the UAB FCA and also leads Bible study once a week at The Church at Brook Hills.
Kronz is one of several high-profile Forsyth County athletes who recently cashed in on the NCAA's name, image and likeness ruling. Talia DellaPeruta, a West Forsyth grad and sophomore at the University of North Carolina, signed on with VIDSIG, an organization that allows fans to book one-on-one conversations with celebrities, while South Forsyth grad and Mississippi State junior Landon Sims reached an agreement with Parker-McGill Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Starkville, Mississippi.