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UP's first donor-Led NIL collective launches

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default UP's first donor-Led NIL collective launches

Post by BackTheBluff Mon Dec 19, 2022 1:58 pm

Hi Pilot Nation! Joe Kuffner '05 here... I've been a long-time member of Pilot Nation and a Pilot fan for even longer, and I wanted you all to be the first to know that Back the Bluff - UP's first donor-led NIL Collective - has officially launched as of Monday, Dec. 19.

The website also has an FAQ section that can hopefully answer some questions about NILs, collectives, and what Back the Bluff is all about: BackTheBluff.com

On the website, you'll also find more about me and why I'm doing this.

I invite all Pilot fans to join this project, and please reach out to me with any questions - backthebluff(at)gmail.com

Let's build this together!!!

***

Back the Bluff Launches as University of Portland’s First Donor-Led NIL Collective

PORTLAND, Ore. -- On July 1, 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) allowed student-athletes to earn compensation for their name, image or likeness, also known as “NIL.”

Officially launched today, Back the Bluff is a collection of donors and alumni that are dedicated to creating NIL opportunities for University of Portland student-athletes that positively contribute to the Portland community and uphold the commitment of UP to make a difference in the world.

As the first and only donor- and alumni-led NIL collective working for University of Portland student-athletes, Back the Bluff invites the broad Pilot community – alumni, organizations, donors, fans, businesses and more – to support Pilot student-athletes by contributing at BackTheBluff.com.

Service is foundational to the University of Portland mission and has always been a key component of the Pilot student-athlete experience. That is why Back the Bluff is committed to partnering with local non-profit organizations – particularly schools and youth programs. Contributions to Back the Bluff will help create opportunities for Pilot student-athletes to positively impact these organizations, while also helping them to earn their value in the NIL era.

“Back the Bluff is about far more than just an avenue for Pilot student-athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness,” said Joe Kuffner, 2005 UP alumnus and founder of Back the Bluff. “It's creating opportunities to make a real difference in our community. I am so excited for the entire Pilot family to stand up and rally behind our student-athletes and help them grow into the best versions of themselves – during and after their playing careers – by partnering with great local organizations.”

“In the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics the importance of student-athlete welfare and NIL opportunities are top priorities,” Portland Vice President for Athletics Scott Leykam said. “We are thrilled that Back the Bluff is another program that can be utilized to support these endeavors. With our athletics programs competing at a national level and having so much success across many sports, the time has never been better for community engagement and support. Our student-athletes are amazing ambassadors for the University, future business leaders, and change-makers. With the mission of Back the Bluff rooted in service and community engagement, it will be a rewarding investment for all involved.”

While Back the Bluff’s focus is on working with community organizations, it can also help facilitate common NIL opportunities, including ad campaigns, appearances, social media posts, promoting merchandise, and various other endorsement or sponsorship deals.

Back the Bluff is the preferred collective for the UP Athletic Department and will work with UP staff to ensure all NIL deals are  compliant with the text and spirit of NCAA guidelines and, above all, ensure all parties are acting in the best interest of Pilot student-athletes.

Supporters who are ready to give can visit BackTheBluff.com. There is no minimum or maximum contribution. Community organizations or business looking to become a partner with Back the Bluff are invited to reach out to backthebluff(at)gmail.com.

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default Re: UP's first donor-Led NIL collective launches

Post by dholcombe Wed Dec 28, 2022 4:59 pm

Is the plan to concentrate on any particular sports first or is that up to what people want to donate for?

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default Re: UP's first donor-Led NIL collective launches

Post by Pilot14 Thu Dec 29, 2022 8:35 am

From backthebluff.com FAQ:

What sports are included in Back the Bluff?
Initially, Back the Bluff is focused on Men's and Women's Basketball. We are actively seeking dedicated supporters who are interested in expanding these opportunities to additional Pilot athletic programs.


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default Re: UP's first donor-Led NIL collective launches

Post by dholcombe Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:29 pm

Related topic: does anyone know if UP gives out Alston awards to athletes? These are another recent way for athletes to have a limited amount of funds beyond tuition only.

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default Re: UP's first donor-Led NIL collective launches

Post by DoubleDipper Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:47 pm

dholcombe wrote:Related topic: does anyone know if UP gives out Alston awards to athletes? These are another recent way for athletes to have a limited amount of funds beyond tuition only.
Probably not...

The Alston decision is something rich universities can take advantage of to pay their student-athletes up to $5,980 per year...and last I looked, the majority, if not all, of the schools that make these awards are FBS schools.

The criterion for making the award varies from school to school or conference to conference, but I have not heard of any WCC schools making this "special/academic achievement" award because the money has to come from the university, not the outside influencers associated with NIL money.
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