Right now, only 40 schools sponsor varsity women’s triathlon — and the sport is not yet fully “managed” by the NCAA. USA Triathlon is using NIL to try to change that.
On Wednesday, the organization announced it had launched a name, image, and likeness collective called “Watch Us Thrive.” It’s the first U.S. Olympic and Paralympic governing body to dive into NIL.
The collective is “another aspect of USA Triathlon’s collective dedication to ensuring women’s triathlon as a NCAA Championship Sport will thrive for decades to come,” according to Team USA’s website.
Donors can contribute funds that will be distributed to NCAA women’s triathletes. In return, the athletes will promote the sport on social media.
The collective has chosen to take a controversial classification. It’s been organized as a 501(c)(3), and as a result, money funneled through the collective is tax deductible. While many other school-specific collectives have taken this route, there’s no guarantee the IRS will let them retain non-profit status.
There’s also a bill in Congress attempting to outlaw non-profit NIL collectives.