Florida State NIL collective Micconope 1851 partners with Blueprint Sports

Florida State’s crowded NIL market is getting a facelift.

Micconope 1851 – a Florida State Seminoles’ focused NIL collective – announced Tuesday it is partnering with Blueprint Sports, one of the top collective operating companies in the industry. Micconope 1851 currently supports Florida State student-athletes in the football, men’s and women’s basketball and women’s soccer programs.

“Our new Blueprint Sports partnership will fuel our already strong collective to better deliver on community engagements and student-athlete support,” Micconope 1851 board member Allen Beyer said in a statement to On3. “Taking action now is critical to ensure our FSU student-athletes have the resources and leadership opportunities to remain competitive nationally and positioned for success beyond graduation.”

Blueprint Sports will have a familiar face helping Micconope expand its footprint in the Florida State market. Chris Asa, Blueprint Sports’ vice president of donor relations, worked previously as a former development and revenue growth professional at Florida State Athletics.

“I look forward to working with the team at Florida State once again,” Asa said in a statement. “There is a great deal of passion and potential for the Seminoles and Micconope 1851 will set the bar high for student-athlete engagements, education and development opportunities.”

Blueprint Sports has a national portfolio of 14 NIL collectives that it helps run, including Friends of Wilbur & Wilma at Arizona, Pack of Wolves of NC State and Friends Of Spike at Gonzaga.

Micconope 1851 launched in April 2022, founded by Florida State alum Mike Underwood and fellow alum and former player James Coleman. The focus was to provide financial earning opportunities but also help developmental opportunities.

Micconope 1851 says it helps “maximize opportunities for Seminole student-athletes to succeed, grow their brand and engage with local community partners for years to come.” The foundation of Micconope 1851 is steeped in reverence for the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The word “Micconope” means young chief or leader in the native dialect.

Through Micconope 1851 donors can make tax-deductible contributions through the BPS Foundation. The foundation is a 501I(3) organization “formed to educate, encourage and assist Seminole student-athletes in their efforts to engage with the local community through charitable causes.”

“Our love and passion for Florida State University is unparalleled and this passion leads us to seek ways to enhance the lives of FSU student-athletes far beyond the playing field,” Underwood said in a statement to On3. “Additionally, the respect and honor we have for the Seminole Tribe of Florida sets us apart from our peers. We will always remain focused on the Tribe’s dedication to the unconquered spirit.”

Nonetheless, there’s a big battle for donor dollars in the Florida State market. Along with Micconope 1851, Seminole student-athletes also have Rising Spear and The Battles End collectives actively operating in the market.

The Battles End generated headlines in December and January by signing quite a few of FSU’s top football players to NIL deals. The deals are focused on retention and supporting recruiting efforts. Likewise, Rising Spear has been wildly successful since its inception, including recently getting an official blessing from Florida State’s athletic department. The announcement was made possible through a partnership between Learfield and the Seminole Sports Properties.

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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