Last Updated on December 9, 2022
As one of the premier programs in Power Five college athletics, University of Oklahoma has emerged as a hub for name, image and likeness developments. This week, two of its most prominent collectives, Crimson and Cream and Strengthening Oklahoma, reshuffled Oklahoma’s NIL landscape by merging together to form a stronger collective, according to a press release.
Under the merger, the collectives will take the Crimson and Cream name and will allow Sooner fans to support all sports through a single organization. The press release said that the collective will reach more than 500 student-athletes at Oklahoma.
“There are few college athletic programs that match the storied history and tradition of the University of Oklahoma,” Crimson and Cream CEO Jason Belzer said. “The collective power of Sooner Nation will empower OU student-athletes in ways no other fanbase can. That’s why Crimson and Cream has decided to join forces with Strengthening Oklahoma – to channel our resources in order to maximize NIL opportunities for all Sooner student-athletes, now and in the future.”
The collective will continue the efforts of both organizations, from the fundraising goals and $25-a-month subscriber model of Crimson and Cream to a leadership board that includes legendary Sooner athletes from past years.
Strengthening Oklahoma co-founder Gabe Ikard said the merger will cut down on the competition between OU’s various collective options and allow Crimson and Cream to focus on its mission of recruiting the best student-athletes to Norman.
“Until now it’s been a bit of a competition for fans’ NIL attention, but now fans can choose the strongest collective that supports all OU sports,” Ikard said. “We want athletes to make every NIL dollar they can, and we want to support OU Athletics. This is the best way to do that.”