Blueprint Sports Launches ‘Friends of UNILV’ Name, Image, and Likeness Collective at University of Nevada, Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS –Blueprint Sports, the industry leader in full-service Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) Collectives, is proud to unveil ‘Friends of UNILV’ — the first NIL Collective supporting student-athletes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) of the Mountain West Conference. ‘Friends of UNILV’ is not affiliated directly with UNLV Athletics and is led by an executive board of volunteers comprised of a combination of local fans, alumni and donors, and chaired by UNLV alum, supporter, and long-time successful Las Vegas business executive, Bill Paulos.

“The ‘UNILV’ collective is spearheading the effort to aid UNLV student-athletes in navigating the commitments and pressures of today’s college sports scene,” said Bill Paulos, chairman of Friends of UNILV Collective. “Our student-athletes strive for excellence in academics as well as their chosen sport. The facts are that only one-third of our student-athletes are on full scholarships, and the dream of a career in professional sports is attained by only 2 percent of student-athletes. Our goal is to connect our alumni, fans, and businesses to engage with the female and male athletes of UNLV to help them achieve their life goals.”

UNLV Director of Athletics Eric Harper added: “We understand how important Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is in regards to the current landscape of intercollegiate athletics nationally. UNLV has been proactive in supporting our student-athletes by implementing The Vegas Effect, which is a NIL educational platform. Collectives are being created throughout the nation, and groups like UNILV are able to help provide student-athletes with unique opportunities in Las Vegas, the sports and entertainment capital of the world. We continue to be committed to ensuring NCAA and state laws will be followed as we all advance through the NIL environment.”

On the new website, supporters have multiple options in ways they can engage with the student-athletes. ‘Friends of UNILV’ allows for streamlined communications between Las Vegas businesses, brands, and UNLV student-athletes for marketing opportunities, including online influencer campaigns, local appearances, youth sports coaching, charity event attendance, and more. An additional option includes one-time or recurring crowdfunding and monthly “behind the red rope” memberships for exclusive access to various student-athletes. Supporters can also comfort that their engagements will occur in an NCAA-compliant manner with all UNLV student-athletes.

Blueprint Sports lead investor is the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education (AAFE). Andre Agassi, AAFE Chairman and eight-time Grand Slam tennis champion, said, “The ability for Blueprint to work alongside Bill Paulos and the rest of the leadership for Friends of UNILV will bring equity and parity to student-athletes of all sports at UNLV. These student-athletes have worked tirelessly throughout their career to become a member of a division one team, and I am excited to be a part of helping them learn about business and life with their personal brands.”

In October 2021, community leaders and businesses, such as Findlay Automotive, Montage Financial Group, Logic Commercial Real Estate, Emerald Island Casino, Born and Raised Las Vegas, and WestPac Wealth Partners began engaging via Blueprint Sports with student-athletes on several sports teams to record over 110 NIL engagements to date. ‘Friends of UNILV’ aims to galvanize the community with a one-stop-shop and initiative to support the amazing UNLV student-athletes.

“I’m thankful for NIL and the opportunities it brings for people who come from different backgrounds and different financial situations,” said UNLV men’s basketball forward Luis Rodriguez. “I think it is a blessing for athletes to make a profit for their name and image because that comes with hard work and building your brand.”

UNLV football quarterback Doug Brumfield added, “NIL provides us, players, with an opportunity to feel our hard work pay off while still maintaining the freedom of being a college athlete.”

About Blueprint Sports

Founded in Las Vegas in 2020 and backed by Andre Agassi, eight-time Grand Slam tennis champion, Blueprint Sports (BPS) powers the industry’s leading name, image, and likeness (NIL) collectives for alumni, supporters, and businesses, connecting them with student-athletes at their favorite university. The Friends of UNILV is the latest collective powered by Blueprint Sports to launch in 2022. Other collectives include Friends of Spike, around Gonzaga University, Friends of Wilbur & Wilma, around the University of Arizona, and Friends of Basevols, around the University of Tennessee. The Blueprint Sports management team possesses over 50 years of college and professional sports experience, spanning the Pac-12 Conference, IMG, Learfield, Nevada Athletics Commission, and more. For more information on Blueprint Sports and to see samples of their work, visit

About Name, Image, Likeness (NIL)

On June 30, 2021, the Division 1 Board of Directors approved an interim name, image, and likeness policy. This new policy allows all NCAA D1, D2, and D3 student-athletes to be compensated for their NIL as of July 1, 2021. Student-athletes can now engage in paid community appearances, autograph sessions, youth coaching engagements, and sports marketing campaigns.


For media inquiries, please email

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!

Contact Us Now!