BYU’s NIL Collective Launches Program That Pays Every Football Player

Aug 30, 2023, 1:52 PM | Updated: 1:57 pm

BYU Football, Kalani Sitake, NIL...

BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake has been a big supporter of team-wide NIL deals. The Royal Blue Collective launched the latest. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU’s official NIL collective, The Royal Blue, has launched a program benefitting every 2023 BYU football player.

The Royal Blue announced the deal on Wednesday. They referred to it as an “unprecedented mentorship program that promises to set new standards for athlete support in college sports.”

It’s an initiative that is expected to financially and academically support each of the 123 players on BYU’s 2023 roster.

BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake has been a massive proponent of team-wide NIL deals. The Royal Blue states this new initiative is “in alignment with the leadership of Coach Sitake.”

The Royal Blue’s founding donors back the financial piece of the initiative to compensate each player. How much the players will be making was not announced.

Team-wide BYU NIL endorsement

Some of the donors and sponsors involved with the initiative include PACS, Mountain America Credit Union, Nutricost, FeastBox, Legally Mine, NuSkin, TaxHawk, Quick Quack Car Wash, Dane and Wendy Kimber, Casey Adams, and Zions Bank.

“With help from our mentoring program, we want to be a major contributor to TRB’s NIL solution, enabling BYU to attract and develop gifted athletes who perform at high levels in sport and become well-equipped to thrive in life, family, and their professional pursuits,” said PACS CEO Jason Murray.

One company that was not listed was Built Brands. Two years ago, Built Bar launched the team-wide endorsement that covered tuition costs for BYU’s walk-on athletes. Built could still provide that separately from Royal Blue’s team-wide initiative.

In June, Built Brands CEO Nick Greer said the company “has yet to decide” how to continue its relationship with BYU football in 2023.

Along with financial compensation to all 123 BYU football players, The Royal Blue’s mentorship is expected to provide professional growth opportunities. Athletes will have the chance to be mentored by industry leaders, gaining insights into various disciplines such as sales, marketing, finance, strategy, and technology.

It’s believed that BYU football is the only program to date that has all 123 players on the roster being compensated by one collective. The Royal Blue Collective officially launched in December 2022 and is endorsed by the BYU athletic department.

“I am passionate about BYU sports and invite all to step-up their level of giving and participating,” Nutricost CEO and member of The Royal Blue Board of Manages stated, “It is a new competitive world with the advent of NIL. We all need to become involved at some level!”

What is the BYU NIL Collective?

The Royal Blue has stated that they’ve worked extensively with BYU Athletics to ensure alignment with the mission and ideals of the athletic department. BYU Administration responded favorably that although the TRB’s initial focus is on NIL opportunities for the BYU football and men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes, ultimately, TRB hopes to engage with student-athletes from every sport at BYU.

The Collective’s efforts have been focused on leveraging the unique opportunities NIL presents to create a program that will position teams to excel athletically while preparing each student-athlete for life beyond sports.

In August, the Royal Blue Collective joined The Collective Association (TCA), a group of Power conference collectives that are looking to create guardrails and better support for athletes in the NIL space.

The Royal Blue has five components

TRB has five components they offer to BYU student-athletes. One of those components includes financial support through NIL endorsements.

Another is financial literacy. TRB is expected to offer a series of programs that will give student-athletes a chance to learn about taxes, investing, and other financial education. There will also be a branding and marketing piece for the Collective. Providing the individuals do’s and don’ts of social media and elevating their brands.

“The Collective is committed to supporting BYU in being a consistent national leader in collegiate athletic performance and seeing all its student-athletes promote light and goodness in life beyond sports. We believe a BYU education for student-athletes should provide a whole life experience that exceeds that of any other educational institution,” said Co-Chairman Lon Henderson in December.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X (Twitter) and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU’s NIL Collective Launches Program That Pays Every Football Player