Last Updated on October 26, 2023
The celebratory fireworks that shot off on University of Louisville’s campus Saturday night marked a victory in more ways than one.
Aside from the Cardinals earning an exhilarating 33-20 victory over the then-No. 10 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 502 Circle – the primary NIL collective for Louisville athletics – raised $50,859 during the contest.
At the beginning of a three minute timeout in the second quarter, 502 Circle, in partnership with the donation platform Basepath, debuted its “Flash Give” urging fans to donate to the collective during the break in action. Fans were prompted on the video board to pledge a contribution with their mobile phones by scanning QR codes found in the stadium.
According to On3 Sports, the university distributed a press release earlier in the week, providing links to QR codes and information on the goal behind the campaign. With “Flash Give” supporters had an opportunity to support the team right from their seat.
“From the jump, we have wanted to meet people where they are,” Dan Furman, the president of 502 Circle told On3 Sports. “Being able to provide a way to support 502Circle inside L&N Stadium was important for us and the Louisville community. As NIL continues to evolve, we want to bring more creative ideas like this to the Louisville fan base. Their support has been incredible, and I know they will continue to rally around our athletes.”
The opportunity was made possible through a partnership with LEARFIELD, according to On3Sports.
“We’re very fortunate to have such great alignment between our athletic department, Louisville Sports Properties and 502Circle,” Louisville athletics told On3 in a statement. “A lot of schools and collectives are striving every day to get the type of cooperation we have. The collective recently signing an official partnership with LEARFIELD opens up a whole new world of possibilities of ways we can collaborate to help support our student-athletes through NIL. It’s not just about rights to marks and logos – it’s about integrating 502Circle into the Louisville experience.
Interest in the program is currently experiencing a high, and 502 Circle is capitalizing on it. Coached by Louisville native and university alumni Jeff Brohm, the Cardinals are up to No. 14 national ranking in the AP Top 25, the program’s highest since 2017. The university also hosted Louisville native and rapper Jack Harlow and Cardinals basketball alumni Donovan Mitchell and Peyton Siva– who were shown on the jumbotron during the timeout – only adding to fan excitement around the stadium.
Furman told On3 Sports that 502 Circle was in contact with several major donors who pledged to make significant donations during the event.
“It was great to raise so much money last night from a wide variety of first-time donors to the collective, but most importantly, it provided a level of awareness and comfortability with 502Circle for our fan base that we need to continue to grow.”
Basepath CEO Thomas Thomas Jr. believes we will continue to see NIL collectives finding new and exciting ways to engage fanbases, like with “Flash Give.”
“This successful initiative by 502Circle is a great case study for other collectives to follow when coming up with innovative ideas to increase donations,” Thomas Jr. said. “We are incredibly proud to be a part of these types of activities with great partners like 502Circle. Based on what we’re hearing and seeing with our 50+ collectives across the country, there will be more and more new and unique approaches to engaging fan bases and communities.”