The agreement allows the NIL Collective to expand its support and offerings for Loyola Chicago student-athletes

CHICAGO (May 23, 2023) – Keepers of the Culture, a third-party Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) Collective, has been named the Official NIL Collective Sponsor of Loyola Athletics through a partnership with Rambler Sports Properties.

The agreement allows Keepers of the Culture to capitalize on Loyola University Chicago’s brand and marketing assets to maximize NIL opportunities for Rambler student-athletes including increased branding, education, community partnerships and more. The partnership was negotiated by Rambler Sports Properties, Loyola Chicago’s multimedia rights holder.

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside Keepers of the Culture to continue advancing Loyola University Chicago’s NIL offerings,” said Steve Watson, director of athletics. “This exciting new partnership will allow the collective to enhance its support for our student-athletes and provide first-class NIL opportunities.”

Fans, alumni and supporters who commit to Keepers of the Culture are maximizing opportunities for student-athletes to build their brand and earn compensation through NIL opportunities provided by the collective.

“As the Official NIL Sponsor of Loyola Athletics, Keepers of the Culture is looking forward to bringing more awareness and more opportunities to our student-athletes,” said Christian Thomas (’15) former Rambler men’s basketball player and Keepers of the Culture alumni advisor. “Our values are aligned with the Loyola values of service, and we are looking forward to providing value for our student-athletes through NIL while staying true to those values.”

Supporters can contribute to the collective in a variety of ways, including one-time or recurring tax-deductible donations through Keepers of the Culture’s partnership with the BPS Foundation, a national 501c3 organization. Supporters can also contribute through a non-tax-deductible contribution or marketing expense. Visit for more information on all contribution options.

Keepers of the Culture was formed in February of 2023. Led by former Rambler basketball players Thomas and Christopher Knight (MBA’22), Keepers of the Culture has already made an impact in the community through activations like this visit by the men’s basketball team to the Misericordia Heart of Mercy Home in Chicago. During the visit, the team played games and hosted drills with the Misericordia residents.

About Keepers of the Culture

Keepers of the Culture is a fan-driven and alumni-led Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) program for Loyola University Chicago student-athletes, alumni, and fans. Community members who commit their support to Keepers of the Culture, are pledging to maximize opportunities for student-athletes to build their brand and earn compensation. In addition, community supporters gain access to exclusive events, autograph sessions, and more. Keepers of the Culture is powered by parent company Blueprint Sports. For more information visit and follow @KOTCNIL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About 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.


Allison Monette, Keepers of the Culture NIL,, 702-373-7190

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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