Joining a Power 5 conference these days means having a powerful NIL collective, and BYU announced The Royal Blue Collective on Thursday.
BYU calls it an ‘officially licensed” NIL collective that is entering into a sponsorship agreement with the athletic department.
On3.com noted that it is unusual for a school to make the announcement of an NIL collective and noted that BYU already has a non-school-sponsored collective, called CougConnect. There is also the Provo NIL Club, launched last summer by YOKE.
The announcement was the lead story on the BYU athletic site on Thursday morning and it included a link to the school’s official release. Per the school:
The collective is overseen by a board, independent of BYU Athletics, with a goal to deliver a premier Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) solution that enables BYU to attract and develop gifted student-athletes who perform at high levels in sports and become well-equipped to thrive in family, faith and life’s pursuits. It plans to pool funds from fans, alumni and businesses to help facilitate NIL deals and monetize student-athlete brands.
Also notable, per the Royal Blue web site, is that it is seeking a 501©(3) determination from the Internal Revenue Service, which would allow it to operate as a public charity.
It’s been an eventful few days for the Cougars. Along with the Royal Blue announcement, the Cougars had their early signing day, like other FBS schools. Head coach Kalani Sitake spoke with CBS Sports about leading the Cougars into the Big 12 next season, along with his relationship with his mentor, the late LaVell Edwards. And, Cougars linebacker Max Tooley announced that he would be returning for the 2023 season.
BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard