NIL-Focused The Collective Association Now at 35 Members

November 1, 2023

The Collective Association has now grown to 35 members. 

The 2023-2024 academic year continues into year two of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) for student-athletes in the NCAA. Through NIL we have gone through many trials and tribulations, chaos, and ever-looming questions about logistics, laws, and what exactly is allowed of student-athletes. Furthermore, what exactly is allowed with those wanting to donate, fundraise, or spark deals with the athletes themselves? 

There are more than 200 NIL collectives residing in collegiate sports, seeking to empower the current and future generations of student-athletes with their NIL opportunities. Collectives are typically founded by alumni, boosters, or other large groups of fans, striving to pull together large amounts of funds for their athletes. Collectives can also provide marketing and branding support, legal and financial advice, and networking opportunities. To learn more about collectives, visit Basepath

The Collective Association: What Is It? Who’s Involved?

The Collective Association (TCA) was founded in July of 2023 with seven NIL entities, The Battles End (FSU), The Grove Collective (Ole Miss), Happy Valley United (Penn St), Spyre Sports Group (Tennessee), House of Victory (USC), Champions Circle (Michigan), and Classic City Collective (UGA), with the mission of being a “unified voice working to shape the development of the name, image, and likeness (NIL) era.”

Having seen first-hand the troubles NIL has brought to coaches and athletes, one of the association’s top priorities is to become a central-point for “well-informed and effective” legislation that benefits all in the NIL landscape, assuring all issues would be brought to light at a national level. Over the span of 4 months, TCA has acquired new collectives throughout the Power 5, reaching a total of 24 members and counting. 

The Collective Association has announced publicly that another main priority of theirs is creating a revenue sharing model for student-athletes, similar to that of which we see in professional leagues. Hunter Baddour, Co-Founder and President of Spyre Sports Group, outlined three main initiatives of TCA during an NIL Collective Webinar: Athlete Protection, A Unified Understanding, and Establishment of a collective voice. 

Baddour also stated in an official statement issued by TCA, “Our member collectives promote opportunities and fairness for student-athletes, and these new members join our efforts in shaping what the future of NIL will be.”

TCA has been invited to visit numerous college campuses, one would assume to speak on proposals and future precedents that would immediately impact donors and athletes alike. Regarding change towards NIL endeavors, The Collective Association is in favor of working with Charlie Baker, NCAA President, on developing an agent registry for student-athletes, assisting efforts of creating a more unified structure.

Charlie Baker has not directly commented on the matter, but faces more pressing topics at the moment in Washington, D.C, as senate hearings are currently playing out. 

TCA on Capitol Hill

A Capitol Hill hearing took place on October 17, 2023, regarding NIL legislation where Walker Jones (one of seven witnesses to testify), Ole Miss collective leader and one of The Collective Association founders, emphasized that collectives make up 80% of all NIL deals, per On3.  TCA was an important panelist on the hearing, further advocating for the best interest of all student-athletes across the country. 

Charlie Baker, NCAA President, chose to respond with the following, “With all due respect to you, Walker (Jones), nobody knows what is going on. It’s a guess and rumor.”

The recent Capitol Hill hearing marks the 10th occasion since 2020 in which NIL has appeared in D.C.

The hearing comes after much anticipated and called-for discussion about NCAA wishing to create a federal NIL mandate, antitrust exemptions, changes to state NIL laws, and the debate over whether or not student-athletes are university employees. 

As the senate hearing concluded, Jones took to social media to call out Baker, saying “Typical and expected response when you lose control…”. 

Overall, the hearing showed that there was a strong sense of congressional support towards finding unity in the landscape of name, image and likeness. With various topics of sorting through and picking apart, such as transfer rules, international students’ visas, scholarships, grants, and more, the public and NCAA fans and participants of all kinds must now wait to see what plays out. 

24 members of The Collective Association:

University of Tennessee (Tennessee) – Spyre Sports Group

University of Georgia (UGA) – Classic City Collective

Florida State University (FSU) – The Battles End

University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) – The Grove Collective

University of Southern California (USC) – House of Victory

University of Michigan (Michigan) – Champions Circle

Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) – Happy Valley United

Kansas State University (K-State) – Wildcat NIL

University of South Carolina (USC) – Garnet Trust

University of Kansas (KU) – Mass St. Collective

Ohio State University (Ohio State) – The 1870 Society

University of Colorado Boulder (CU) – The 5430 Foundation

University of Arizona (Arizona) – Desert Takeover Collective

University of Missouri (Mizzou) – Every True Tiger Foundation

Brigham Young University (BYU) – The Royal Blue

Arizona State University (Arizona St.) – Sun Angel Collective

University of Louisville (Louisville) – 502 Circle 

West Virginia University (WVU) – Country Roads Trust

University of Cincinnati (Cincy) – Cincy Reigns

University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) – Alliance 412

University of Oregon (Oregon) – Division Street

University of Alabama (Bama) – Yea Alabama

Duke University (Duke) – Durham Devils

University of Iowa (Iowa) – Iowa Swarm
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