Spyre Sports Group and The Grove Collective lead Group of Power 5 NIL Collectives to Washington to Lobby Congress and present at University of Arizona Summit on “The Future of College Athletics”
NIL Collectives at University of Tennessee (The Volunteer Club powered by Spyre Sports), Ole Miss (The Grove Collective), the University of Georgia (Classic City Collective), Clemson University (TigerImpact) and the University of Washington (Montlake Futures) will travel to Washington D.C. on June 6-8 to lobby Congress and attend a summit on “The Future of College Athletics” sponsored by the University of Arizona.
On the horizon: Congressional legislation which seeks to adopt regulatory structure and create uniformity with respect to NIL and collectives. Collectives presently operate under a patchwork of state laws. As part of this discussion, Walker Jones, Executive Director of The Grove Collective, will speak on the panel, “NIL, What is the state of play?”
“We are honored and excited to take part in this very important conversation around the future of Name, Image, and Likeness with the various stakeholders in collegiate athletics”, said Walker Jones, Executive Director of The Grove Collective. “It is a critical time in the evolution of NIL and we are confident that the perspective from our group of collectives can help add value and direction towards a sustainable model for all parties”.
College athletics is big business, generating several billion dollars in annual revenue from television, ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, media rights fees and merchandising. We are eager to engage in worthwhile conversations around these topics with regard to how revenue will be distributed in the future.
In furtherance of the ideals presented in the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in NCAA v. Alston, 141 S. Ct. 2141 (2021) we look forward to working towards a new model, one that recognizes the true value of collegiate athletes.
Collectives have become one of the strongest proponents for the rights of student athletes, and now they come together as partners to help protect those rights and participate in fashioning a new, sustainable system for NIL. Hunter Baddour, President of Spyre Sport Group, said, “Ultimately we all want what’s best for student athletes. We look forward to contributing to solution based conversations regarding NIL and the future of college athletics.”
“I look forward to joining my counterparts in advocating for student-athletes, consistent and enforceable regulation, and the continued role of institution focused NIL entities.” Matt Hibbs, CEO, Classic City Collective
“This is a pivotable time period in college athletics especially for the rights of student athletes. Collectives have been the closest voice athletes have had to meaning representation, but we have mostly operated independently. I hope by coming together with other collectives and advocating for a more sustainable model and the rights of student athletes, we can help contribute to meaningful change.” James Clawson, CEO, The Volunteer Club
“Thanks to NIL, college athletes are finally able to help financially support themselves and potentially their loved ones during their time in college. As we face the future of NIL, it’s important that athletes have a voice to insure they’re in a position to capitalize on what may be the most valuable 3 or 4 years of their lives. When tomorrow isn’t promised, we need to be able to make the most of every day.” Joe Milton, Quarterback, Tennessee
“While it is an exciting time for NIL and we’re proud to be at the forefront, we also believe that structure and uniformity must be put in place to safeguard student-athletes and ensure the unique qualities of college sports are preserved. As NIL collectives have become a major part of the market over the last two years, it’s critical that those who operate the collectives have a voice in this discussion to inform stakeholders and help guide college athletics to a new era where beloved traditions meet exciting innovation.” Kevin Gemas Co-Founder & BOD Member of Tiger Impact & NIL Collectives Association, Inc.
About Spyre Sports Group
Spyre Sports Group is a sports marketing and media agency with over 30 years of marketing experience representing hundreds of professional athletes in various professional sports. Spyre creates NIL opportunities for student-athletes and manages The Volunteer Club, an NIL collective supporting University of Tennessee student athletes along with the Volunteer Legacy, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports University of Tennessee student athletes by partnering with charitable organizations to make a positive impact across the state of Tennessee.
About The Grove Collective
The Grove Collective LLC was formed shortly after the State of Mississippi enacted name, image and likeness (“NIL”) legislation in 2021, and Grove Collective was instrumental in the amendment of Mississippi’s statute in 2022 to keep Ole Miss competitive in the rapidly evolving field of NIL. Foremost, Grove Collective was created to support Ole Miss’ student athletes in all collegiate sports at Ole Miss and to ensure that NIL is done right by the law. Support of Grove Collective by Ole Miss’ alumni, fans and friends translates into support for Ole Miss’ student athletes, allowing them to be compensated for licensing and use of their publicity rights. The Grove Collective supports student athletes in numerous ways, such a licensing compensation, corporate sponsorships, airfare and other benefits for student athletes and their parents, and through charitable projects. For more information, visit The Grove Collective’s website – thegrovecollective.com.
About Classic City Collective
Classic City Collective aims to be the nation’s foremost supporter-funded NIL facilitation platform to position Georgia Athletics and athletes from all 21 sports for sustained success. The Collective was created to provide opportunities for all of Dawg Nation to contribute and engage with the athletes they passionately support through a variety of NIL activities, including social media endorsements, in-kind promotional deals, appearances, meet and greets, autographs, and digital content.
About Montlake Futures
Montlake Futures develops Name, Image, and Likeness opportunities that benefit the missions of 501(c)(3) organizations and provide educational experiences for University of Washington student-athletes. Our goal is to leverage the roles and identities of student-athletes to help fundraise, generate awareness, and otherwise support charitable causes, while fostering connections that inspire a lifetime of civic engagement for student-athletes.
TigerImpact is a 501c3 non-for-profit organization that was born out of Clemson’s culture of caring. Our mission is to develop Clemson student athletes and positively impact others through community charities. We carry out this mission by engaging donors to fund student athletes who we work with to promote underserved charities. We’ve gathered a talented group to lead TigerImpact, both in advisory roles and in day-to-day operations. Our Co-Founders are Kevin Gemas, Richard Davies, Kendall Alley and Brent Beason.