Maine Maple Sunday is March 26, and with the annual event comes a new first: a high school student-athlete will be making an appearance in partnership with a local business.

Madie Niles of Lawrence High School is set to make her first official name, image, and likeness appearance as part of her team-up with Hilltop Boilers in Newfield, according to a press release.

The press release states that she'll be at Hilltop Boilers on March 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to "sign autographs and host a field hockey contest to encourage more young athletes to play field hockey."

The maple syrup company is reportedly the first business to sign a NIL partnership with a Maine high school athlete.

But just what is NIL?

According to, it basically means that a student-athlete has the ability to get paid for using their "name, image and likeness" through marketing and promotion.

It was only until fairly recently that student-athletes could not get paid as they were considered amateurs, and this was especially prevalent in the college sports arena.

Eastern Maine Sports reported that Madie signed with Pliable, a Maine-based company, for NIL representation back in December 2022.

She said in the report, "I see name, image, and likeness opportunities as a way to increase the exposure for our amazing team at Lawrence High School and for the game of field hockey."

The 16-year-old noted in the press release her love for maple syrup and that it was the perfect opportunity to support a local business and create a partnership.

Michael Bryant, the owner of Hilltop Boilers, said, "As an award-winning athlete and title as a former Miss Mini Maple we are proud to welcome Maddie to our sugarhouse on Sunday as she continues to grow her career as an elite field hockey player and professional model. Thousands of people will come to Hilltop Boilers on Sunday, so she will have a great opportunity to share her story and passion for field hockey with people of all ages."

Pliable Marketing
Pliable Marketing

So if you want to see Madie in her first appearance, this is the weekend to do so.

And this is only the beginning when it comes to name, image, and likeness partnerships in Maine. Expect to see even more student-athletes taking this new journey as the years go on.

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