On Thursday afternoon, Purdue athletes, local media members, department supporters, and alumni gathered at a pizza parlor in Indiana ahead of the Purdue Boilermakers football team’s matchup against Penn State.
In any other year, it may have been a normal pregame event. But it was far from that — and not just because one of its attendees was former New Orleans Saints star quarterback and Purdue alum Drew Brees.
The event was held to announce that a name, image, and likeness collective called The Boilermaker Alliance has enlisted Brees as the newest member of its board — and that with his help, it will offer deals to every athlete at Purdue. That’s 385 athletes total — the organization was clear that it would not discriminate.
The organization said it plans to raise $6 million each year to contribute to athletes’ NIL earnings.
The Boilermaker Alliance is a 501(c)(3), meaning that it has designated itself as a collective with a focus on supporting charitable causes. The organization will also help athletes with financial literacy and development in addition to the deals it will provide.
“It’s about character development,” Brees said. “It’s about leadership development. It’s about education. Financial education.”
The program also featured current and former athletes who have done charitable work in the local community. “We should be able to use [the NIL] platform to give back,” Purdue basketball’s Jayla Smith told reporters.
This isn’t Brees’ maiden voyage into the NIL space, but it’s certainly his most substantial. He offered Purdue softball player Emilee Cox a deal at the end of last season, but otherwise has been relatively quiet until now.
Brees told reporters he first got involved through a former teammate — and that it only took a few phone calls and a matter of weeks to solidify his role as a leader in the organization.