Friends of Wilbur & Wilma NIL organization planning Ice Shaker giveaway, autograph session at Arizona’s Spring Game

Friends of Wilbur & Wilma, a fan-driven and alumni-led supporter group for student-athletes at Arizona is planning a special event to coincide with the Wildcat football Spring Game on Saturday at Arizona Stadium.

Friends of Wilbur & Wilma is a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) organization designed to welcome alumni, fans and businesses who want to engage and work with the student-athletes at Arizona.

The first 1,000 Zona Zoo students to attend the game at noon will receive a free Ice Shaker, a protein shaker bottle developed by the Gronkowski brothers — including Rob and his brother Chris, who both played at Arizona.

In addition to that, after the game, Friends of Wilbur & Wilma will stage an autograph session at Bear Down Field adjacent to the stadium with Tedy Bruschi and Lance Briggs (Arizona legends returning to coach the Red and Blue teams in the scrimmage) as well as 12 of the Arizona players.

The list of players coached by Jedd Fisch in his second year who will be signing autographs: Hunter Echols, Dorian Singer, Christian Rowland-Wallace, Jordan Morgan, Jayden de Laura, Jonah Coleman, Jacob Cowing, Kyon Barrs, Christian Young, Tetairoa McMillan, Jaxen Turner and Jerry Roberts.

Powering Friends Of Wilbur & Wilma is Blueprint Sports, which is led By co-founder and partner Francisco Aguilar, who is a former Arizona student body president from Tucson. The Blueprint Sports platform facilitates monthly community engagements for the members of the Arizona football team.

“Since we launched Friends of Wilbur & Wilma, in 60 days, we’ve raised $1.2 million for Arizona football so far,” said Joey Medina, a Tucsonan and Arizona graduate who is the organization’s general manager.

Medina also mentioned that as part of the group’s activities Arizona athletes have interacted with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Arizona, Big Brothers and Sisters and Habitat for Humanities.

The Gronkowskis have signed three Arizona athletes to NLI deals to promote their Ice Shaker — football players Ma’Jon Wright and Christian Young and softball player Janelle Meoño.

Medina mentioned that fans can order Ice Shakers that honor each of these athetes at the Ice Shaker Web site.

“We’ve ordered their shakers and three additional shakers that are near and dear to Coach Fisch’s heart,” Medina said. “One of them is ‘Desert Rising,’ which represents the entire team. The other is ‘Twenty-Tucson,’ which represents the No. 1 recruiting class (in the Pac-12) that we just did and ‘The Juice is Worth the Squeeze’ that is representative of the three players that play for us from (Anaheim, Calif.) Servite High School (Noah Fifita, Keyan Burnett and Tetairoa McMillan).”

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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