Toledo NIL collective Friends of Rocky becomes first MAC collective

Toledo is the first MAC school to have a NIL collective. It’s called Friends of Rocky, referencing the school’s mascot, and it will support Toledo Rocket athletics. Friends of Rocky has a board of directors, while Toledo businessman Cleves Delp will chair the collective.

The group said it’s hoping to set the market rate for collectives in the MAC. For now, that going rate appears to be $1 million a year. It’s not a small number by any means. But it does pale in comparison to the $13 million that Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is looking for.

It’s Delp who set a goal of raising $1 million a year. He admits that this might be ambitious. But he said he thinks it’s possible. He said even if Friends of Rock doesn’t reach that goal, every other school in the MAC is going to be trying to keep up.

“The Friends of Rocky collective can be the gold standard for collectives in the country as we uphold the strictest standards for compliance reporting, structure and organization,” Delp told WTVG Toledo. “Our team will work tirelessly to engage with the community so that we may continue to support the fine student-athletes with permissible NIL programs across the region. I believe that having these student-athletes out in the community will lift up businesses, brands, and youth future Rockets as they aspire to become D1 student-athlete. I am proud that we are the first collective to launch in the Mid-American Conference.”

Delp said Friends of Rocky will help student-athletes at Toledo get NIL deals. Along with this, the collective intends on helping student-athletes with financial literacy.

About NIL collectives NIL collectives are groups of alumni, fans, and other supporters who come together to pool their money. That money is then distributed to student-athletes at the university that they support in the form of NIL deals. Those deals can vary, and include things likes autograph signings, camps, and speaking appearances.

No two collectives are alike. The size and scope of them tend to vary wildly. Some register as non-profits, while many others are marketing agencies.

Importantly, NIL collectives are not directly associated with a university. They’re not supposed to communicate with a program about prospects. Furthermore, they are not able to give out deals to recruits, in pay-for-play deals.