Until July 1, 2021, the formula for building a college sports team was fairly standard.
In order for any college athletics program to succeed on the field or court, it must first recruit a talented collection of athletes by pitching its program and leading the athletes to believe that they would be most comfortable and best equipped to develop at that program. Of course, rival programs have the same idea, and the competition that these opposing programs engage in to win these athletes over is known as a recruiting battle.
For decades now, schools across the country have competed against each other in recruiting battles for the ability to add athletes to their programs. High school athletes, as well as athletes at other schools who enter the transfer portal, visit other schools that they are interested in attending and are connected with current players to learn about the culture, and the program, and have a host to show them around. Once the prospective athlete had visited every school that he or she was interested in, a decision was made, and a college career began.
But on July 1, 2021, the game changed. With new legislation being passed that allowed for college athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness (also known as NIL), a new element was added to the recruiting process- which school can allow for an athlete to benefit the most from NIL?
NIL At Florida
For over a year and a half now, Gator Collective has spearheaded the NIL efforts for Florida Gator athletes- and word of mouth spreads to prospective athletes quickly. While on their visits, recruits are enlightened by current players how they have personally benefited from NIL, how NIL helps them (and in some cases, their families), and how NIL works at UF. To date, Gator Collective has worked with 150+ Gator athletes with customized NIL deals that are tailored to each athlete’s needs and goals.
“We talk to current Gator athletes all the time and they tell us that one of the first questions they get from recruits is, ‘how are the NIL opportunities at UF?’” remarked Jen Grosso of Gator Collective. “So we know that if current Gator athletes are provided great opportunities, that will be conveyed to recruits and will absolutely influence their decision on where they choose to pursue their athletic careers.”
But as has been the case for decades, other schools have their own pitches to make, their own programs to talk about, and their own vision to sell- and now, they have NIL setups of their own in their recruiting arsenal. However, there are few athletics programs in the country with the potential to take advantage of NIL as the University of Florida. Because Florida has one built-in advantage that few other schools have.
Strength In Numbers
According to data compiled by Yahoo Sports, the Florida Gators have the sixth largest fan base in college football; there are nearly six million Gator fans out there. For perspective, that’s almost as many as Tennessee and Auburn have combined!
Amassing that following was the hard part. Years of parents around the country raising their children to do the Gator Chomp, or teenagers getting their friends hooked on the magic of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturdays in the fall, has taken its toll.
The job, though, is not finished. Having those numbers is a great start, but simply having numbers is not enough for the University of Florida to boast a superior NIL opportunity. Now is the time to capitalize on those numbers.
YOU Can Help Us Capitalize On Our Biggest Strength
If Gator Collective can be the best NIL opportunity in college athletics, most prospective athletes would then see the University of Florida as the best place for them to continue their academic and athletic careers. Given that UF is already a top-five public institution in the country and boasts top-tier athletic programs across the board, Florida already has two of the three major pieces required to attract top athletes. NIL is the last component of the triad left standing- and you can help us check it off.
“If we want the best athletes to attend the University of Florida- and bring home those championships- then we need to provide the best NIL opportunities to current UF athletes,” Grosso declared. “And the easiest way for fans to contribute to that success is through Gator Collective.”
So: does being a member or partner of Gator Collective impact recruiting? Yes. By our ability to reward our current athletes for their name, image, & likeness we are able to create a culture and display the opportunity for future UF athletes of why they want to attend UF.
And the more individuals who commit to Gator Collective, the more we are able to reward each of our current athletes with their NIL deals.
Gator Collective is a unique entity that provides college athletes with opportunities to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) like never before- and in return, gives fans unprecedented levels of access to their favorite Gator athletes. Commit today, and join the greatest team in college sports!