Texas A&M has been making moves recently in the NIL space. And according to Athletic Director Ross Bjork, those moves are paying off for the school’s student-athletes.
While speaking with local media, Bjork stated that student-athletes have signed or are negotiating NIL deals with a value of “approximately $10 million.” Bjork believes that number makes Texas A&M one of the top schools in the nation for NIL.
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“Based on the contracts that have been turned into our compliance office and the data we’ve seen from those, probably top five to 10 in the country,” Bjork said. “You don’t really know, based on how things are set up (at other schools), exactly what is accurate.” There is currently no national database that tracks NIL deals by the university.
That number will only increase with the launch of the 12th Man Foundation’s 12th Man+ NIL Fund, which was announced last week. Texas A&M athletics and the 12th Man Foundation describe the fund as “a new initiative aimed at furthering the organization’s mission while enhancing the student-athlete experience at Texas A&M through name, image, and likeness (NIL) opportunities.”
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With the 12th Man+ Fund, fans have two main options to support the athletes. Interested parties can either make direct donations to a sport of their choice, or they can support a general fund that is distributed across all sports. This is an engaging strategy that many collectives around the country have implemented. This type of fund allows fans to directly contribute to their favorite teams and players, therefore increasing engagement.
Another area benefitting the Aggies is the Transfer Portal. Of the 22 players who started in the season finale against LSU, 19 of those players are returning to College Station. Undoubtedly this was helped by having a strong NIL scene and supportive donors.