Last Updated on March 25, 2022
There’s another new collective on the block: Cavalier Futures. The Virginia non-stock corporation will provide an inclusive marketplace for University of Virginia student athletes to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness.
Cavalier Futures will help UVA athletes use their name, image, and likeness to be compensated for traditional endorsements, social media promotions, appearances and autographs, in-kind deals, and equity opportunities. Cavalier Futures can also help elite student-athletes hire marketing agents and other representatives or service providers to assist them. In addition, NIL is an opportunity to further strengthen and support the Charlottesville area and university through community and social activism.
Lo Davis, a veteran of UVA’s Virginia Athletics Foundation, has been appointed Executive Director of the organization.
Davis, a 1991 UVA graduate, brings 21 years of experience in donor relations, sports nonprofits, and sports sales and marketing. At Cavalier Futures, he will lead a team charged with providing education, professional readiness, and networking to maximize student-athletes’ potential through NIL opportunities, personal and professional growth, and long-term career placement. His start date is March 14.
“At Cavalier Futures, we believe NIL is not a four-year plan, but a 40-year commitment to student-athletes,” says Davis, who played on the UVA baseball team and participated in JV basketball. “To execute NIL properly means we make education the foundation and develop the whole person, including their long-term support of community activism, marketplace education, career development, and professional networking opportunities.”
Cavalier Futures is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors who provide oversight, act as fiduciaries, and consult, advise, and assist the Executive Director. Current members include former UVA football players Ron Carey ‘90, founder and CEO of Richmond-based Tilt Creative + Production; Doug Duenkel ‘92, a Washington-area entrepreneur and adjunct professor at the UVA McIntire School of Commerce; Henry “Hank” M. Dudgeon, III ‘95, an accomplished tech founder and real estate executive; and Matt Link ‘97, a healthcare executive and venture investor. Stephanie Garcia ’10/’12, a track and field standout and pro steeplechaser whose work supports student-athletes and college administrators, also serves on the Board. Additional members will be named in coming weeks.
Cavalier Futures also has a growing Advisory Board to support the organization and student-athletes. It includes notable UVA student-athletes:
- Ralph Sampson ’83, the 3x National College Player of the Year, 3x ACC Player of the Year, first overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 2012 inductee
- Drew Fox ’94, a midfielder on the 1994 Men’s Lacrosse Championship team and managing director at investment management firm Hamilton Lane
- Matt Schaub ’03, the Houston Texans record-setting quarterback, ACC Player of the Year (2002), and 2x Pro Bowl quarterback who holds several UVA passing records
- Dana Boyle ’14/’15, an All-ACC women’s lacrosse player, now an ESPN and ACC Network analyst and reporter
- Kyle Guy ‘19, the 2x All-ACC, 2x All-American, 2019 NCAA Champion, and today a shooting guard for the Miami Heat
Brian Socolow ’90, a UVA School of Law graduate and co-chair of the sports practice at a national law firm representing athletes and others in the industry, also serves on the Advisory Board.
“Cavalier Futures provides what is best about the University of Virginia,” Sampson says. “Being one of the nation’s top educational institutions requires being tied to top-notch athletics. Now we also have a premier NIL collective marketplace that serves our student-athletes today, and a program that helps their individual branding for a lifetime.”
“Cavalier Futures is helping give our student-athletes opportunities through our marketplace that they’ve never had before,” Schaub says.” UVA student-athletes now have the best of all worlds: a world-class education, competition at the highest level, and NIL opportunities that other schools just don’t have.”
“I am thrilled to be involved with Cavalier Futures,” Boyle says. “My time as a student-athlete at Virginia and employment within the Athletics Department has provided me with some of my most genuine and treasured relationships to date. Over the years, those relationships have proven to be impactful well beyond the playing field, especially as I navigate my professional aspirations. I look forward to the opportunity to serve UVA student-athletes in the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics to ensure their lifelong success.”