BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (March 30, 2023) –The Falcon Family and community leaders in Bowling Green have partnered with Blueprint Sports, the industry leader in full-service Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) collectives, to launch The Ziggy Collective–an innovative NIL collective supporting the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) athletic programs that encompass 18 Division I sports and are a part of three nationally recognized conferences with the Mid-American Conference (MAC), the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and the Missouri Valley Conference (The Valley), respectively.
To celebrate the new development, The Ziggy Collective will soon announce a series of student-athlete engagements and community events, showcasing the dedication and commitment of the Falcon Family to their student-athletes and the broader Bowling Green community.
“I fully support a robust name, image, and likeness (NIL) ecosystem for the student-athletes of Bowling Green State University. This venture will provide unique business and sponsorship opportunities for our student-athletes. This university is fortunate to have a group of innovative and entrepreneurial supporters who are inspired by extending these opportunities,” said Derek van der Merwe, Director of Athletics and Recreation. “A building on BGSU’s campus displays this inscription, ‘The great task of the University is to weld imagination and experience’.” “Today, there is no better example of this than NIL.”
Head football coach Scot Loeffler is also optimistic about the potential impact of The Ziggy Collective. “This initiative will open up new opportunities not just for our student-athletes on the football team but for all Falcon student-athletes. This will provide them with valuable experiences that will prepare them for success both during their time at BGSU and beyond,” said Loeffler. “We’re excited to see how The Ziggy Collective will enhance Falcon Athletics across the board and contribute to the development of BGSU student-athletes on and off the field of competition.”
With the recent hiring of Todd Simon as the new men’s basketball head coach, an influx of potential new basketball players for next season, and continued growth and success of the football program, along with the successes of the other Falcon Athletic teams, The Ziggy Collective is set to make a significant impact on BGSU Athletics and the MAC, the CCHA and The Valley conferences, respectively. This initiative also aims to inspire the next generation of student-athletes and encourage strong academic performance alongside athletic achievements.
Cal Bowers, a former BGSU football student-athlete who will serve as one of The Ziggy Collective’s alumni advisors in a volunteer role, added, “As a proud Falcon, I’m thrilled to be part of The Ziggy Collective. I believe this initiative will not only benefit the student-athletes but also bring our passionate community closer together.”
Supporters, alumni, and fans of The Ziggy Collective can make tax-deductible donations to the collective, through a partnership with the BPS Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization formed to educate, encourage, and assist Falcon student-athletes in their efforts to engage with charitable causes.
“The Ziggy Collective creates a tremendous opportunity to bring student-athletes closer to the surrounding community,” said Jonathan Jakubowski, BGSU former football student-athlete and an alumni advisor for The Ziggy Collective. “We’re excited to leverage the new environment created by NIL for the good of Bowling Green and Falcon student-athletes.”
Through The Ziggy Collective, local and national businesses and brands, in addition to community supporters and fans, have multiple options to engage with BGSU student-athletes. Student-athlete activations include custom marketing campaigns, planned speaking engagements, autograph sessions, participating in charity events, and more. This level of engagement will further strengthen the bond between student-athletes and the community, creating a lasting, positive impact for all involved.
For more information, visit theziggycollective.com and follow @ZiggyNILon Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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. BPS’ national portfolio of collectives supports student-athletes across the country, including around Loyola Chicago University, Florida State University, Penn State University, Boston College, NC State University, Villanova University, Gonzaga University, University of Arizona, University of Tennessee, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, Ohio University, University of Toledo, Montana State University and more. The Blueprint Sports management team possesses over 50 years of college and professional sports experience, spanning the Pac-12 Conference, IMG, Learfield, and Nevada Athletics Commission, among others. For more information, visit blueprintsports.com or its pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Name, Image, Likeness (NIL)
On June 30, 2021, the Division I Board of Directors approved an interim name, image, and likeness policy. This new policy allows all NCAA DI, DII, and DIII 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.
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For “The Ziggy Collective” and Blueprint Sports –The Ferraro Group
Eric Castillo-(775) 338-2419, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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!