Arizona collective gifts Bose headphones to football roster through NIL partnership

Jeremy Crabtree • 03/24/23

Top collectives across the country continue to show that if you pick their school and sign with their group, NIL opportunities – and in many cases, some sweet swag – soon will follow.

Friends of Wilbur & Wilma, an Arizona-focused NIL collective that has been extremely active in signing members of the Wildcats’ football program, surprised the entire team earlier this week with Bose noise-canceling earbuds through an NIL partnership.

Friends of Wilbur & Wilma shared news of the NIL deal on social media in a video that you can see below. The gift-giving moment must have felt like Christmas morning for Arizona coach Jedd Fisch because he kept pulling boxes of Bose earbuds out of a large bag that would have made Santa Claus jealous.

In a team meeting room full of players, Fisch hands out a couple of pairs of headphones before then saying, “Anybody else want any of these?” Hands across the room quickly raise. Fisch then says, “All right, get everyone a pair of these.” The room then erupts in cheers.

Not 1st high-tech gift for Arizona players

This is not the first time that Friends of Wilbur and Wilma has hooked up players with some high-tech gear.

“As part of their onboarding into the collective and their welcome to Tucson, they get a cash stipend for move-in,” Friends of Wilbur & Wilma General Manager Joey Medina told On3 earlier. “They also get a brand-new laptop for business communication purposes.”

Medina said Bose gifted the headphones to the team and that the Friends of Wilbur and Wilma are proud of their corporate partnership with the company.

“When you look at corporate partnerships and corporate sponsors, not all schools are privy to that,” Medina said. “So, for the University of Arizona to be one of the corporate partnerships and to be able to roll that out was pretty awesome.”

NIL deal for headphones creates a ‘priceless’ memory

Friends of Wilbur and Wilma executive director Ray Wells said the look on the players’ faces when they got the new Bose headphones was “priceless.” Wells also was impressed with Fisch’s setup and delivery of the surprise gift. A number of players were shown in the video thanking the coaches, collective and Bose for the gift.

“To be able to now have that opportunity for college players to get corporate partnerships and for Friends of Wilbur and Wilma to be that bridge and provide that partnership – it’s huge,” Wells said. “I think it’s just a sign for our program in general to have Bose – a high-quality organization – is just huge. It’s only going to allow us to do more.”

Friends of Wilbur and Wilma has big backers

Founded by loyal Wildcats supporters Cole Davis and Humberto Lopez, Friends of Wilbur and Wilma utilizes Blueprint Sports technology to learn more about supporting Arizona student-athletes’ NIL opportunities and to connect with them.

Furthermore, the collective also has the support of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

“I’m a big believer in empowering our next wave of athletes,” Agassi, an eight-time tennis grand slam champion, previously said in a release. “It’s incredible to see and support this technology. And I know that the University of Arizona student-athletes will benefit greatly from this support.”

Nate Brown

General Manager

Nate Brown is the General Manager of Zags Collective, leading the charge to help amplify the opportunities for the Gonzaga student-athletes through NIL partnerships with local charities, fans and businesses. With over a decade of experience in the professional sports industry and as a former business owner in Spokane, Nate is a seasoned professional who knows what it takes to succeed. Most recently, he served as the National Sales Director for a prominent west-coast real estate company, where he was responsible for driving growth and retention. With a deep understanding of sales and marketing, Nate brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and is always seeking innovative ways to drive revenue and create partnerships.With a passion for ensuring the success of student-athletes both on and off the field, Nate is dedicated to providing the necessary resources to keep Gonzaga competitive on the national stage. He understands the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with the community and local businesses, and works to maximize opportunities for Gonzaga’s student-athletes. As the son of two Gonzaga alumni, including a father who was a baseball pitcher and also a coach for the school, Nate has a great connection to the university and a passion for ensuring its continued success. Outside of work, Nate enjoys spending time with family, including his wife Jessica and their 16-year-old daughter Brooklynn and 12-year-old son Marcus. When not working or spending time with family, you can find Nate at any one of the amazing golf courses in Spokane, honing his swing!

Mike Smith

General Manager

Mike Smith joined Micconope 1851 in March 2023 and is excited to be the General Manager and looks forward to working with Blueprint Sports increase NIL revenue generation for Florida State University student-athletes. Smith comes to Micconope 1851 from Catawba College where he held the title as the Senior Director of Athletics, Development. Prior to working in Athletics at Catawba College, Mike served as the Associate Athletics Director for External Relations at Charleston Southern University. Smith has an impressive background in the collegiate athletics industry, having held senior level development and corporate sponsorship sales roles at The University of Southern Mississippi, Limestone University, the Sun Belt Conference, Florida Atlantic University, and with multimedia rights-holders Tele South Communications at the University of Mississippi, Learfield Sports at UNC Chapel Hill, and with International Sports Properties at Georgia Tech. Smith is a graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and holds a master’s degree in Business Management from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In his new role here at Micconppe 1851, Smith will be responsible for raising major gifts for NIL deals as well as securing NIL corporate sponsorships for Florida State University student-athletes. Mike looks forward to helping ensure the FSU student-athletes have the resources and leadership opportunities to remain competitive nationally and positioned for success well beyond graduation. Mike is married to Katy Smith; the couple looks forward to relocating to Tallahassee, Florida, and becoming a part of the Micconope 1851 and Seminole family!

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