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The Grove Collective, The Brandr Group, Wheels Up Announce Landmark NIL Deal to Benefit Meals Up and Provide Commercial Airline Assistance for Ole Miss Student-Athletes
OXFORD, Mississippi – The Brandr Group, Wheels Up (NYSE: UP), a leading provider of on-demand private aviation in the United States, and The Grove Collective today announced a group Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) program that will allow Ole Miss student-athletes to give back to their local community. The Student Athletes will help support Meals Up, a program supporting Feeding America that was created by Wheels Up CEO, Kenny Dichter in 2020 to help support the growing level of food insecurity during the pandemic. In addition to the charitable impact of this announcement, Ole Miss Student Athletes will have access to commercial travel opportunities to allow their loved ones to attend Ole Miss games and athletic events through the commercial airline partner of Wheels Up.
Additionally, Ole Miss Student Athletes Myah Taylor (Women’s Basketball), Sasha Ratlif (Women’s Volleyball), Jaxson Dart (Football), Hunter Elliot (Baseball), Quinshon Judkins (Football), TJ McCants (Baseball) and Matthew Murrell (Men’s Basketball) have been designated to work on behalf of Meals Up. The effort has raised and inspired the equivalent of over 90 million meals for Feeding America to date.
In total, there will be up to 15 Ole Miss student-athletes named to work with and promote the Meals Up charity platform that benefits Feeding America in North Mississippi. The student athletes will be compensated through this NIL opportunity while giving back to the local community.
“As part of our ongoing Meals Up charity initiative, we’re thrilled to partner with The Brandr Group and The Grove Collective to usher in the next generation of philanthropists to help support Feeding America and continue to fight food insecurity in the United States,” said Wheels Up Chairman and CEO Kenny Dichter. “This is an industry-leading partnership and unique way to engage with college athletes while providing them with an outlet to give back to the local community, along with providing memories for the student families attending various games through the program.”
“This is an exciting and transformative partnership that will create opportunities for athletes’ parents and family members to attend games and see their loved ones in person through Wheels Up’s commercial airline partner. More so, we’re honored to be the first Collective to partner with Wheels Up in this historic deal.” said Walker Jones, Executive Director of The Grove Collective. “With the charitable impact and awareness these athletes can bring to food insecurity through Feeding America, the compensation the athletes receive, and providing Ole Miss student athletes with the benefit of commercial air travel for their loved ones, this is NIL at its best.”
“Today’s announcement shows that The Grove Collective and Wheels Up are two forward-thinking entities who are looking to create new, meaningful opportunities for student-athletes. We hope this program can grow within The Grove Collective and ultimately across the country with other Collectives.” said Chris Marciani, The Brandr Group.
The Wheels Up deal marks the first deal from The Grove Collective and The Brandr Group partnership which is focused on creating national and local student-athlete NIL group deals co-branded with the University. The Wheels Up program provides the Grove Collective the opportunity to offer commercial airfare in student-athlete NIL deals to use for family travel to home and away games.
Short for Name, Image, and Likeness, “NIL” refers to the way college athletes can receive compensation and allows student athletes to use and leverage their name, image, and/or likeness through marketing relationships and platforms.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is the leading provider of on-demand private aviation in the U.S. and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Wheels Up offers a complete global aviation solution with a large, modern and diverse fleet, backed by an uncompromising commitment to safety and service. Customers can access membership programs, charter and aircraft management services—as well as unique commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines Inc. The Wheels Up Services brands also offer freight, safety & security solutions and managed services to individuals, industry, government and civil organizations.
Wheels Up is guided by the mission to connect flyers to private aircraft—and one another—and deliver exceptional, personalized experiences. Powered by a global private aviation marketplace connecting its growing base of 12,000+ members and customers to a network of more than 1,500 safety-vetted and verified private aircraft, Wheels Up is widening the aperture of private travel for millions of consumers globally. With the Wheels Up mobile app, members and customers have the digital convenience to search, book and fly. Wheels Up is committed to aligning with philanthropic organizations that matter most to our company, members, customers, families and friends.
Through the Wheels Up Cares program, a Wheels Up Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft is custom-designed to represent the established cause and is a flying symbol of each charity’s mission. Headquartered in New York City, Wheels Up has office locations in 25 cities and towns across three continents and a workforce of nearly 2,700 employees.
To learn more about Wheels Up, go to wheelsup.com.
About The Grove Collective
The Grove Collective was created to ensure that NIL is done right by the law – and right by Ole Miss student athletes. Your support of the Grove Collective translates into support of Ole Miss student athletes, allowing the Grove Collective to compensate them for licensing and use of their publicity rights. And when it comes to NIL, there is strength in numbers. The Grove Collective also provides a turn-key solution for businesses that desire to utilize the publicity rights of Ole Miss student athletes for advertising. The Grove Collective markets your business, provides contracts for your use, assists the student athlete with accounting and taxation, and fulfills the compliance disclosure required by Ole Miss. For more information visit https://thegrovecollective.com.
About The Brandr Group
The Brandr Group (TBG) is a brand management, marketing and licensing agency powered by a team with decades of collective management experience for some of the world’s largest brands. TBG has emerged as the leading agency in group licensing programs, with rights to over 70 college athletic programs and their student athletes in the Name, Image and Likeness category including the biggest brands in college athletics. TBG partners with prominent brands, colleges, sponsors, corporate trademarks, athletes and events to cultivate, diversify and monetize intellectual property through professional brand management and licensing endeavors. For more information, please visit tbgusa.com.