July 17, 2023 – Written by Olivia Mundorf, Heels4Life Journalism Intern

Leaving his hometown for a change of scenery and an opportunity to be a Tar Heel, to get back
to playing his original position, and the chance to wear the Carolina blue for one remaining year
of eligibility – a “business decision,” as Amari Gainer put it.  

Known to many as Amari “Ferrari,” a nickname credited to one of his pop warner teammates
that has since helped expand his social media presence and his personal brand, the Tallahassee,
Florida native comes from an athletic family. His younger sister, Amaya, plays softball at Florida
A&M, his younger brother, Ashton, plays football and baseball at North Florida Christian School,
his mother was a high school cheerleader who attended Florida State, as did his father who
played football for the Seminoles.
Throughout most of his early life, Gainer played football and baseball, and was planning to play
both sports in college. Ultimately, he followed in his father’s footsteps, staying in Tallahassee,
and joining the Florida State football program in 2018.
After several successful seasons at Florida State, Gainer decided to enter the transfer portal for
his final year of eligibility. This decision would afford Gainer an opportunity to get back to
playing at his natural position.
“Coming back to being an outside linebacker, being able to play what I was recruited for before
I go to the next step is very important for me and my growth and development,” Gainer said.
While the sport of football was the vehicle for getting Gainer to a place like Carolina, there
were many factors in his decision to become a Tar Heel, including the high academic standards
and expansive alumni network that UNC offers.
Since arriving in Chapel Hill, Gainer has immersed himself in the football program, by
connecting with the other guys on the team and the broader UNC community, by trying out a
few new restaurants on Franklin Street and attending Carolina basketball games, including his
first experience in one of the greatest rivalries in college sports when the Lady Tar Heels beat
Duke in Carmichael Arena last season.
“Definitely being able to get the full experience, to branch out to all the sports in order to feel
the new rivalry, just to see that it means something to the whole school, it’s pretty special to
see that,” Gainer said.
And while athletics have been a constant in Gainer’s life, sports aren’t his only passions. Gainer
has developed a unique interest in the digital world of NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the
“I like to be early into stuff, so for this it’s like a way for me to gain assets and digital
collectables and be able to have fun with it,” Gainer said. “When I was younger, I used to collect
football cards, and I don’t even know where they are right now. To have something I can collect
and own digitally, and actually know where it is, I feel like it’s pretty cool.”

For Gainer, the ability to retain and control his own content might be the most important asset
of all.
“I like to use the analogy: there’s a lot of Tik Tok people around here and there’s a lot of
influencers too, but they don’t own their account, you don’t own your blue check, you don’t
own anything,” Gainer explained. “If Tik Tok were to shut down right now, a lot of people would
be out of jobs and not know what to do. What NFTs do, it allows you to own that asset and be
able to capitalize off of that.”
This entrepreneurial outlook has helped Gainer become a businessman in other ways beyond
his introduction to the metaverse and the new age of the digital world. Gainer has his own
business where he works in drop shipping as a supplier of portable USB juicers, as well as serves
as a development manager for Top Shelf Nutrition, a nutrition supplements company founded
by a few of his friends.
And if managing his own companies and overseeing his digital assets – all while remaining
engaged in the classroom and dominating on the football field – wasn’t enough, Gainer’s
most impactful venture just might be the founding of his own non-profit organization.
With the motto changing the game, bridging the gap, A.G. Game Changers works with youth in
the community through outreach programs that help improve literacy and provide mentoring
opportunities to foster relationships and offer support for children in schools.
And these efforts to leave a lasting impact on the community didn’t stop when he left
“God placed me here in Chapel Hill to be a light,” Gainer said. “It’s important for me to get in
the community and be around people who are coming and supporting me.”
Tar Heels fans should be excited to see Gainer in the Carolina uniform too, as he will be a strong
addition to the UNC defense this season. Gainer described his style of play as passionate, with
overall heart and experience, and is looking forward to putting that on display in Kenan Stadium
very soon.
“Getting that first sack and feeling that energy, running out of the tunnel,” Gainer said, is what
he is looking forward to most. “Being able to be out there and make plays, I feel will just be
exciting, be a fun experience.”
With all the success Gainer has already achieved on the field, paired with his commitment to
serving the community, there is no reason to doubt that his time as a Tar Heel will be a
beneficial investment in his career as a student, athlete, and entrepreneur.

Olivia Mundorf graduated in May with her degree in Journalism from UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. During her time at Carolina, Olivia has focused on pursuing a career in sports broadcasting and journalism, and has spent several semesters covering UNC sports and sharing the compelling stories of the athletes, teams, and community surrounding one of the top athletic departments in the nation. After graduation, Olivia will remain in Chapel Hill as a member of the UNC Sport Administration Graduate Program.