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 www.friendsofunilv.com 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 www.blueprintsports.com.

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.