NIL collectives aren’t just supporting men’s basketball and football players — they’re diving into women’s sports, too.
The latest example: a team-wide deal for the Michigan State women’s gymnastics program. Each athlete will receive $5,000 from Charitable Gift America, a previously established charitable organization that has created an NIL collective called “This is Sparta!” to support Michigan State athletes. As part of the deal, each athlete is required to donate 5% of earnings to a charity of their choice.
While it’s not the first team-wide NIL deal in the sport, Charitable Gift America says it is the first that directly involves a philanthropy component.
“We happened to have some very passionate people about women’s gymnastics,” Charitable Gift America board president Thomas Dieters told Front Office Sports. He said a group of donors came together to fund NIL deals for the gymnastics team.
They were particularly impressed by the team’s prowess in the gym — they finished third in the 2021-2022 NCAA regional final — and received numerous academic accolades athletes received last year.
“It kind of snowballed, quite frankly, and we were able to contract the entire roster,” he said.
Charitable Gift America launched its Michigan State NIL fund in January, and has been fundraising ever since. It plans to sponsor other Spartan athletes but has already done individual deals with a couple athletes at other schools.
The NIL program is “not just money going to a student-athlete,” Dieters said. Athletes “are learning about philanthropy.”