COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou’s NIL piggy bank is open for business.
It’s taken nearly a year, but Tigers fans can now donate to a large, locally-run collective that will help fund name, image and likeness sponsorship deals for Eli football players. Drinkwitz and Dennis Gates’ basketball players.
Advancing Missouri Athletes, a private company independent of the university, was first launched last summer and has since garnered undisclosed donations from a small group of top Mizzou donors. Starting Thursday, just as Governor Mike Parson signed amended legislation to improve NIL’s business in the state, the general public can contribute to the collective’s coffers through its website, advancemo.com.
While other collectives linked to Southeastern Conference peers in Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M have made national headlines with their seven-figure war chests, the founders of Advancing Missouri Athletes – AMA for short – filed an LLC last summer but consciously took their time to fully organize and store their seed capital before going public.
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Greg Steinhoff, CEO of AMA, said the collective’s stakeholders did not want to be associated with the country’s first wave of NIL collectives, which he described as “the Wild West”.
“We just didn’t want to be thrown into the fray and be part of what you saw at the time,” he said Thursday. “It was better to shut up. Let’s do it right. Let’s make sure we don’t compromise anything with these student-athletes and give them what they want. So let’s get a small group of people together and get going.
“But the last 18 months have been crazy. Missouri fans really want to get involved, so this is an opportunity to take it to the next level and give them that chance.
The AMA has hired two former Mizzou athletes to help run the collective: former basketball player Laurence Bowers is executive director, while former football receiver Bud Sasser is director of operations. The collective pays their salaries and other administrative costs. Otherwise, all fan contributions will go directly to United athletes.
Who decides how much athletes receive? It depends on the collective. When fans donate to the AMA fund, the collective uses that money to partner with businesses to create NIL opportunities for MU athletes. The money is not evenly distributed among the athletes who agree to partner with WADA, nor can fans decide which athletes receive their donation. AMA will not disclose the terms of individual contracts.
“An athlete who has more in-person engagement would likely earn more compensation than others who were less engaged,” the WADA website states. “Top athletes may also receive more than others, but each agreement is negotiated and agreed to individually by the athletes and WADA.”
How much money did WADA raise? The collective also keeps these numbers private.
“We don’t want to be part of the fray,” said Steinhoff, who before retiring was president of strategic operations for Columbia’s Veterans United Home Loans and previously served as the state’s chief economic development officer. under former Governor Matt Blunt.
“It’s crazy the kind of numbers that are being thrown around there. We’re working very closely to try to figure out what we think we need for NIL to matter to these student-athletes in conjunction with what (athletic director) Désirée (Reed-Francois) done to build facilities, in conjunction with what Coach ‘Drink’ is doing to build an amazing culture in this team. It’s a piece. This piece involves the community getting involved. So it’s our job to do whatever we can to help make this piece strong like the others.
Shortly after first joining the collective, Steinhoff called three different athletic directors across the country to gauge how much money their collectives were raising. He couldn’t get a straight answer.
“Every one of them would say, ‘We hear we have $30 million, but we don’t even have close to a tenth of that,'” he said. kinda whipped… were often based on rumors. Even at this point, you don’t really know who your competition is. You just have to put your head down and do your best, then hope the Missouri fans will see this as an opportunity for us to compete and give someone like Coach Drinkwitz and Coach Gates a chance to sell their program, their abilities and their culture.
“I think we have a very good chance to be better after NIL than before. I really do. I believe we have the base in Missouri to do that.
The newly amended state law that Parson signed Thursday now allows Drinkwitz, Gates and other MU employees to engage more in NIL business. NCAA rules prohibit collectives from using NIL payments as recruiting incentives, and while UM coaches cannot directly negotiate NIL deals with current players or recruits, state law allows them to endorse the AMA and other Mizzou-related collectives. AMA hopes to branch out and support athletes from other MU teams as the collective grows.
Still less than a year after the start of the NIL movement in college sports, a challenge for the AMA and similar collectives remains unchanged: how to convert the hardened fan who clings to the NCAA’s longtime model of amateurism. and don’t believe college athletes should be paid beyond their tuition, room and board?
Steinhoff understands these concerns. He also had them once.
“That idea is initially not very appealing to a lot of fans,” he said. “But then they start to realize that athletes work really hard to get where they are. They provide a lot of resources to universities. … Also, we are in the SEC. If we want to be competitive, we have to.
“They start at the point where it’s not something they want. It’s really unpleasant. Then they get to the point where, OK, if we want to do this and if we want to compete, we have to do it right and we have to do it well. So evolution is more about how we educate people and make them comfortable with (NIL)? »
Following Wednesday’s signing of the bill, Mizzou unveiled a series of NIL initiatives that will soon impact MU athletes.
The Department of Athletics and NIL’s third-party branded company, Opendorse, will launch an online marketplace where fans and sponsors can connect directly with potential United athletes as business partners.
MU is among several schools working with Topps and Fanatics to feature Tiger athletes on trading cards.
Ahead of the 2022 football season, fans will be able to purchase Nike shirts personalized with United players’ names and numbers, which will be compensated for each sale.
The athletics department creates an internal team to oversee NIL’s activities, led by a new position, AD Assistant for NIL.
“We are grateful to our state legislators for their continued support of our student-athletes,” said Reed-Francois. “As an institution, we will help our Tigers maximize NIL opportunities within the updated legislation and NCAA rules. We look forward to collaborating with our university partners and delivering a new NIL-related educational program unique to Mizzou. »
Men’s basketball games are scheduled for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Among the 10 interconference matchups scheduled for Jan. 28, Mizzou will host Iowa State, a rematch of last season’s meeting in Ames, Iowa, won by the Cyclones 67-50. MU is 2-3 all-time in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The SEC won six of 10 matchups last season. Here are the other games: Alabama at Oklahoma; Arkansas to Baylor; Auburn in West Virginia; Florida to Kansas State; Kansas to Kentucky; Texas Tech at LSU; Ole Miss at Oklahoma State; TCU in Mississippi State; and Texas to Tennessee.
Tim Jamieson, former Mizzou baseball coach will be the new pitching coach at Memphis, working under new Tigers coach Kerrick Jackson, who coached under Jamieson at Mizzou from 2011-2015. Jamieson served as the Southern Illinois pitching coach for the three recent seasons. … He’s not the only former Mizzou coach heading to Memphis. Men’s basketball coach Penny Hardaway plans to hire Frank Haith as an assistant, multiple outlets reported last week. Haith has spent the past eight years as a head coach at Tulsa, 138-108. … Mizzou baseball has returned to the pro ranks for his next pitching coach. Ricky Meinhold, formerly part of the Cardinals and Mets organizations, will become Steve Bieser’s fifth pitching coach, D1Baseball.com reported for the first time. Mitchell Plassmeyer took over the role in January after the death of Brian DeLunas, then left last month for a job in the Orioles’ farm system. Meinhold, a St. Louis native who played collegiate at Drury, served as a Cardinals scout and later pitching analyst from 2013-19. … Early prediction of Mizzou’s top football jersey sales in 2022: Luther Burden, Harrison Mevis and whoever wins the quarterback job. … Newly hired Mizzou transfer Kristian Williams played 385 snaps at Oregon last year, more than any current defensive tackle on the roster among Darius Robinson (294), Oklahoma State transfer Jayden Jernigan ( 352), Realus George Jr. (132), Baylor transfer Josh Landry (92), Daniel Robledo (18) and Auburn transfer Ian Mathews (0). … Former offensive coordinator Derek Dooley’s breach of contract lawsuit against Mizzou is scheduled for a trial without a jury on July 10. Dooley, United’s 2018-19 coordinator, joined the Alabama staff this offseason as an offensive analyst. …And you thought SEC baseball was brutal now? Six of the eight College World Series field teams play in the SEC or will soon play in the SEC: Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and future additions Oklahoma and Texas. Missing the field this year: SEC regular-season champion Tennessee and defending CWS champion Mississippi State, not to mention Florida, South Carolina, LSU and Vanderbilt , who combined for six national championships from 2009 to 2019.