New NIL collective will pay SMU football and men’s basketball players $36,000 a year

The Name, Image, and Likeness Era has had different ways of manifesting itself in its year of existence. EMS funders have shown a willingness to engage with all of them. The last commitment could be the most important.

Boulevard Collective, a NIL collective with alumni and donors but not directly associated with SMU, launched over the weekend. The group, led by longtime compliance expert Chris Schoemann, plans to pay men’s football and basketball players $3,000 a month and $36,000 a year – according to three school officials with knowledge of the situation. agreement – ​​representing a total commitment of approximately $3.5 million per year.

Schoemann did not go into specifics about the financial agreement, but he said, “With what we have looked at in terms of the budget for Boulevard, I feel comfortable saying that it places student-athletes SMU tied or exceeded their Power Five contemporaries. .”

On3 was the first to release the financial details.

Schoemann also added that the Boulevard Collective has no plans to stop at soccer and men’s basketball.

“Our plans here are bigger than that,” he said.

Dallas businessmen and SMU alumni Chris Kleinert and Kyle Miller have been credited with spearheading efforts to create Boulevard Collective, according to a statement.

“This is just the beginning,” Kleinert wrote in a statement. “The purpose of the Boulevard Collective is to create opportunities for SMU athletes who enhance their athletic careers, while preparing them where their career aspirations might take them at SMU and beyond. Our goal is for this Collective to become the gold standard for NIL’s efforts across the country.

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Boulevard Collective will be the second NIL collective working with SMU student-athletes. Pony Sports DTX has already distributed over $1 million in NIL contracts since its inception.

Boulevard Collective will be operated by Opendorse, a popular NIL marketplace that works with 20 NIL collectives across the country. The Boulevard Collective is expected to be one of the “largest” entities in the NIL market, according to a statement.

“The Boulevard Collective will be in elite company in terms of their commitment to student-athletes,” Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence said in a statement. “With our unparalleled knowledge of NIL transactions and the industry as a whole, it is clear that the Boulevard Collective is launching one of the largest and most enduring efforts nationwide.”

SMU is not the first athletics program to have a NIL agreement with constant pay for its student-athletes. Last month, the Matador program — a Texas Tech collective — set a new standard with NIL deals by offering more than 100 football players $25,000 a year.

“It sort of serves as a base salary for the whole locker room,” said Cody Campbell, founding member of the Matador Club. Athleticism in July, “and that should add a lot of stability and continuity to the program.”

The Boulevard Collective is configured to operate in the same way.

Student-athletes were first made aware of the news at a launch party on Saturday. There, they helped assemble 400 backpacks full of school supplies for ISD Dallas student-athletes. That’s one way the new NIL collective has worked, but there will be other “activations,” Schoemann said.

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“There will be a menu of offerings for SMU student-athletes that will be varied,” Schoemann said. “We will have other activations that will be similar, and we will try to involve the Dallas community here. It was important for both [Kleinert and Miller] regarding our discussions on creation and the first activity itself, but we will have more that will be related to content and more individual details related to student-athletes.

The final step into the NIL space comes at an important time for SMU. Funds are raised for the $100 million Ford Stadium expansion. The realignment is ongoing and SMU, as it has in other realignment cycles, has a strong interest in moving to a Power Five conference.

“I think you see that the institution is trying to position itself in this ever-changing landscape of what Division I athletics looks like – that SMU is trying to position itself to be part of the top echelon,” said Schoemann said. said, “and I think that effort comes down to that.”

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