College NIL marketplace launches new campaign with UNLV basketball players

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — A Las Vegas company has helped launch a new marketing campaign involving UNLV basketball players, part of the push by college and Olympic athletes to build their brands. Blueprint Sports says it is launching a marketplace platform that will connect athletes with local communities and national brands for marketing, influencer campaigns, local appearances and charity events.

It's part of the growth in compensation for college athletes' name, image and likeness, also referred to as NIL.

Blueprint says its first major campaign will be with the student-athletes on the UNLV men's basketball team.

Findlay Toyota, Logic Commercial Real Estate and other local supporters will provide each member of the team with a $500 monthly car allowance for one year. Student-athletes can use that money to finance a car through Findlay or for other monthly expenses.

"This changes the game for college sports because it provides us players the next-level opportunity to build our brands," Marvin Coleman, point guard for the Runnin' Rebels, said in a statement.

Retired tennis star Andre Agassi is investing in the company through the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

"I'm a big believer in empowering our next wave of athletes and I see the incredible potential in what Blueprint Sports is delivering here," Agassi said in a statement. "It's incredible to see and support this Las Vegas-bred technology. And, I know that Las Vegas is only the beginning."

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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