Crimson Collective - Utah's NIL

This is a time of year when we all give a little more to charitable causes. The Crimson Collective is a way to support Utah student athletes as they participate in charitable activities in the community. I encourage everyone who is capable of giving $20 - $25 a month to sign up and do so.

When I worked with Utah football from 2005-2013, one of my responsibilities was to organize players to speak and meet students at local schools. I never had any difficultly finding guys willing to take an afternoon to do this without compensation. I am sure that many of the student athletes at the U would be willing to participate without compensation, but being able to put a little extra money in their pockets is, in my opinion, the right way to benefit the community and the student athletes.


Supporting Ute athletes is a no-brainer, but here’s some rationale that may help sway the move with our domestic bosses:

  • With the PAC’s demise, there’s no reason to pay Comcast / Xfinity to get the PAC-12 network, after hoops this season. (I think the P12 network did a pretty impressive job, BTW.)

  • The financial model is changing, and who knows what the TV money is going to be in the future, as the “linear” TV model shrinks and evolves into streaming.

  • Accordingly, as the U is aiming to keep improving academically and athletically, more of the financial load needs to come from other sources.

I look at it this way: Jon Huntsman and his family have a really big checkbook, and he was great at getting other high rollers involved in causes like Huntsman Cancer Institute. But Jon was a strong believer that it takes a large team of support to really make things work well, get a broad base of folks pulling in the same direction.

Jon didn’t care if somebody gave $1 Million or a little kid gave $5 toward the cause of fighting cancer. Amazingly, his foundation has over 1 million donors… including a lot of little kids.

I’m not comparing athletics to fighting cancer, and I’m not trying to shake down little kids, but… you get the idea.

(BTW, Uteopia and I didn’t collaborate on this. I actually don’t know anyone at Crimson Collective, but I know they’re legit).


Two of the board members of the CC:

Alex Smith & Eric Weddle


I received by email from the Crimson Club:

As you are likely aware, there have been a lot of changes in the college athletics landscape. One of the major changes has been the growing necessity for support through Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) in order to retain and recruit talented student-athletes to Utah and compete for championships.

The University of Utah Crimson Club strives daily to create opportunities that will enhance your Utah experience as a fan and supporter. Accordingly, there is a new opportunity we wish to inform you about with our collaboration in the NIL space.

The University of Utah Crimson Club has worked closely with the recently formed Crimson Collective to align the fan experience with the launch of a new membership benefits program within the Crimson Collective for NIL support.

While the Crimson Club cannot currently offer membership benefits (such as tickets, parking, and hospitality) for NIL support through the Collective, we have coordinated with the Collective for them to create a harmonizing benefits program that enhances the Utah fan experience.

We encourage you to visit the new website, and support Utah student-athletes’ NIL through the Crimson Collective.

As always, we thank you for your incredible generosity and leading Utah through this unique time of change in the college athletics landscape.

Thank you again and GO UTES!!


It reads like spam. Don’t send them google play cards or a box of cash wrapped in aluminum foil.

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I got the email, too. I don’t think I like where this is going.

Prospecting for NIL should probably be more focused than a general blast out to CC members. I would’ve suggested coordinating with the SLC Chamber of Commerce over asking for what will likely be “Small Donor” money. A lot of the small donors are likely doing what they can do now. There is also likely not a quid pro quo opportunity for many of them. Businesses would be able to build on the synergy of such a relationship.

I like the idea the collective is trying to get in the game, but they need to get focused on their pitch faster.


I agree with Greg, but I wonder if they’re reaching out to both big and small donors.

The NIL landscape is a new dynamic, but in recruiting it’s just one part, for the higher level athletes. Coaching, development, fan support… those things still matter, but they’re now blended in with NIL.

Put a different way, if Larry Ellison dropped $100M on Cal State Bakersfield, the 5 stars may not automatically start heading to Bakersfield…though the roadrunners’ talent level would go way up.

Small donors and game time experience still matter, along with coaching, culture, development, etc…

At my place of employment we get some grants based on what percentage of employees are donors. It shows our level of buy in.

The high rollers are crucial, but the masses add meaning to the mission.

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This is merely one tentacle with many, many other efforts going on. It’s basically free. It puts out additional word. There’s no downside to shoot out this email.


Complete transparency here.

Having a university I already give thousands of dollars to come begging for me to open my wallet even further just so we can pay to keep our players here is a pretty good indicator that the new world of college football is something I probably don’t want to be involved with anymore.

If “small donors” are the new reality to keep us competitive in the NIL world, then I’m more than happy to sit it out entirely and let the whole damn thing crash and burn.


D-III would be a lovely place for our Utes.

I dont know how true this is, but I’ve heard that the University of Oregons NIL “Division Street” essentially has enough capital that it sustains itself by simply using the interest from that fund for athletes $$$.

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I hear you. For me, now that the PAC-12 is history I have zero reason to have Comcast, so I’ll redirect $20 a month and carefully navigate streaming.

I’ve had FB tix on the 50 yard line for… forever. There’s a lifecycle to everything, I may need to switch out to less expensive seats… next year. (They got me, this year.)

I might try to find a PAC-12 tie-dye t-shirt to commemorate that fond era.




Well, the U. of Chicago gave up intercollegiate athletics long ago and they’re doing pretty well as a major prestigious university.

(I know, I know. We won’t do that. Just a thought.)


I’m pretty much tapped out already. 4K CC “donation” for FB Tix plus ticket costs. Tailgate passes went up 85%. 1k for BB tickets. I just retired and they’re pricing me out. I’m not donating another dime. I’ve been going to games for 50 years. Get it from the wealthy folks who rarely use their tickets. I was told that our tailgate spots could be sold for $20k each and that there are buyers. Of course we can’t sell any rights to tix or parking directly. It’s a shame they are pricing out the average fans.


That’s because they didn’t want to be confused with the Chicago Bears.


Given the way the Bears have been playing, I wouldn’t want to be confused with them either. :wink:


NIL unfortunately is here to stay & there is no way to control it. No way the Big conferences all agree to a “salary cap” & even if they did donors could pay for endorsements to get around the cap.
Only 30 NBA 1st round picks with guaranteed money so if you are not in the top 30 like Devion or Myles Rice of Wazzu or Jaylon Tyson of Cal just enter the portal every year & get the highest offer & take it back to your “current” “school” & ask them to match it.

Just FYI, I’m going to be selling either 2 or 3 of our five seats in the NEZ. If you (or someone else you know) needs some seats for this year, hit me up.