Bozeman, MT (February 16, 2023) – The Bobcat Collective, the NIL program supporting Montana State University student-athletes, is expanding to support the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The first initiative from these partnerships includes the creation of custom merchandise for each player. Proceeds from the sales of these items will directly benefit each player.
“We are beyond excited to welcome these teams to the collective,” said Bobcat Collective Executive Director and MSU alum Brandon Vancleeve. “The primary goal of the collective is to enhance the image and presence of these players and help them benefit from all of the hard work they put into their sport, and we are eager to bring opportunities to these dedicated student-athletes.”
“After seeing the success of the partnership with the football team, we knew this was something we wanted for our athletes as well. They give it their all on the court and deserve the opportunities that NIL can provide,” said the Bobcat Collective’s Women’s Basketball Representative Richard Bratton.
One unique feature of the women’s basketball collection is Kola Bad Bear’s merchandise line. Kola is using her merchandise to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) and will be donating a portion of her proceeds to Montana State’s MMIP student organization.
Supporters have multiple options to engage with The Bobcat Collective. Contributions can be made through the BPS Foundation, a 501c3 organization dedicated to educate, encourage and assist student-athletes in their efforts to engage with the local community through charitable causes. Other opportunities for partnership include brand alignment with local businesses to create custom marketing campaigns, speaking engagements, autograph sessions and more. More information can be found at bobcatcollective.com.
The Bobcat Collective launched in mid-2022 with support for approximately 80 MSU football student-athletes. Since inception, the collective has completed more than 100 NIL deals with the Montana State football team.
About The Bobcat Collective
The Bobcat Collective is a fan-driven and alumni-led Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) collective for Montana State University student-athletes, alumni, and fans. Community members who commit their support to the Bobcat Collective, 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. The Bobcat Collective is powered by parent company Blueprint Sports. For more information visit bobcatcollective.com and follow @BobcatCollectiv on Facebook and Twitter and @thebobcatcollective on Instagram.
About Name, Image, Likeness (NIL)
On June 30, 2021, the Division 1 Board of Directors approved an interim name, image, and likeness policy. This new policy allows all NCAA D1, D2, and D3 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 Bobcat Collective and Blueprint Sports – The Ferraro Group Heidi Goitia / 928-220-1747 Heidi@theferrarogroup.com
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!