Maryland athletics hires firm to oversee revamped NIL operation, with one collective for all sports

Maryland athletics hires firm to oversee revamped NIL operation, with one collective for all sports

Maryland athletics today announced a big change in how it will handle its Name, Image and Likeness efforts.

The University of Maryland athletics department today announced a big change in how it will handleName, Image and Likeness efforts for its athletes. The school has hired a firm to consolidate all of its teams' NIL operations into one group, named the 'One Maryland Collective.'

Blueprint Sports, which operates similar collectives at Penn State, Arizona, Florida State and various other major programs, will run Maryland's NIL operations.

“Maryland has been and continues to be a leader in NIL. With the launch of the One Maryland Collective, we are combining our NIL efforts into one united brand that will help student-athletes get connected with better opportunities to succeed,” Maryland athletic director Damon Evans said in a press release.  “Our student-athletes are deserving of the most robust NIL program available to help them grow their brands and become more active members of our community.”

Maryland supporters will still be able to earmark their donations for specific sports of their choice, but its existing single-sports collectives -- most notably Maryland basketball's Turtle NIL and football's TBIA Foundation -- will be folded into the new consolidated collective. Blueprint Sports will seek marketing opportunities for Maryland's athletes and handle fundraising and other related responsibilities.

"For the good of Maryland basketball, this is a great move," said Harry Geller, a Maryland professor and entrepreneur who oversaw Turtle NIL's efforts to raise money for NIL. 

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Via the press release:

The collective will solicit tax-deductible donations, seek corporate sponsorships and marketing opportunities for Maryland athletes, partner athletes with local nonprofits and charitable causes, offer fans memberships like meet-and-greets with student-athletes, autographed merchandise and more, according to the press release.

"Bringing all the NIL efforts under one roof will be a game changer for Maryland. We have worked with other Power 5 schools and find that our most successful collectives are united, working together with all supporters toward one common goal - to improve the lives of student-athletes." Rob Sine, a co-founder of Blueprint Sports, told InsideMDSports.

 “The Terps have an incredible network of alumni, fans, and supporters who have already made great strides in the NIL space. Our new partnership will allow us to build on that foundation and make One Maryland NIL one of the leaders in the East.”

According to the press release, Blueprint Sports will have a dedicated, full-time team managing daily operations of the collective, fundraising campaigns, corporate partnerships and more.

“I am incredibly excited to have the One Maryland Collective as the main resource for our student- athletes,” Maryland coach mike Locksley said in the release. “Our goal is to keep our football program competitive, which now includes supporting NIL opportunities to help our student-athletes have a well-rounded college experience.”

“The One Maryland Collective will continue to move forward and enhance the options our student- athletes have for NIL opportunities. We have seen how impactful NIL opportunities are for our student- athletes,” Maryland basketball coach Kevin Willard said in the release “The One Maryland Collective will be a resource that ensures they have the very best support possible.”

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