A Look at NIL Collectives Who Have Partnered With Local Distilleries

Last Updated on February 20, 2024

The influence of name, image, and likeness collectives in the area of alcoholic beverages is gaining momentum. Some have forged partnerships with breweries, and some have decided to venture into spirits, unleashing a wave of collective-inspired vodkas.

Among the notable trailblazing collectives in this space was the University of Tennessee’s Volunteer Club, which made a resounding entry with its signature creation, The Volunteer Club Vodka. Learn about how other collectives at Penn State University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Alabama have ventured into the vodka space.

1890 Initiative: Cornhead Vodka 

The 1890 Initiative, a company dedicated to helping Nebraska athletes make the most of their NIL, announced a partnership with the West Des Moines distiller Foundry Distilling Company to release Cornhead Vodka. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Cornhead Vodka will be donated to support 1890 Initiative’s NIL efforts. Cornhead Vodka will be distributed through local family-owned alcohol distributor Quality Brands of Lincoln. 

“We are proud to present this smooth, crisp vodka in conjunction with 1890. And why drink vodka from Austin, Texas, when you can support NIL at home by drinking Cornhead Vodka?” Foundry Distilling Company Founder Scott Bush said.

The collective hopes to expand Cornhead Vodka beyond Lincoln, Nebraska, in the future.

Courtesy: @1890Initiative on Twitter

Happy Valley United: Happy Valley Vodka 

Happy Valley United, which supports all of Penn State’s athletic programs, partnered with Pennsylvania Pure Distillery’s Boyd & Blair Vodka to release Happy Valley Vodka. Deemed the “Official Vodka of Happy Valley United,” a percentage of the drink’s proceeds will go towards supporting Happy Valley United’s NIL initiatives for Nittany Lion college athletes.

Jen Ferrang, the General Manager of Development and Corporate Partnerships at Happy Valley United expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries.

“We are pleased to offer Happy Valley its first official game day spirit,” Ferrang said.

Courtesy: Boyd & Blair website

Yea Alabama: Yea Alabama Vodka 

Yea Alabama, Alabama’s premiere NIL collective, has partnered with Foundry Distilling of West Des Moines to produce Yea Alabama Vodka. The release of Yea Alabama Vodka presents an opportunity for more eyes and attention toward Yea Alabama’s NIL initiatives.

Hoosiers Connect: Hoosiers Connect Vodka

Hoosiers Connect, a NIL collective supporting Indiana University, announced, in collaboration with Starlight Distillery, the release of Hoosiers Connect Vodka in February 2024.

25% of sales from the liquor will benefit NIL opportunities for Hoosier college athletes. The family-owned distillery, located in Starlight, Indiana, is owned by a group of longtime IU supporters.

“As a 180-year-old Indiana family business, partnering on this NIL project with Hoosiers Connect aligns with our family’s mission of giving back to our community and state,” said Christian Huber, seventh generation member of the Huber family. “It’s a win-win strategy that invests in our student-athletes and the future of sports and education.” 

“We’re grateful to the Huber family for partnering with us on this exciting project,” said Executive Director of Hoosiers Connect Tyler Harris. “The Hubers are the epitome of what it means to be a Hoosier. We are excited for all Hoosier fans to have the opportunity to responsibly enjoy the Official Hoosiers Connect Vodka and to continue to explore unique ways to support NIL opportunities for IU student-athletes.”

Courtesty: Hoosiers Connect Media

Team Boneyard: Crush Vodka

North Carolina’s own Sup Dogs Distilling Co. recently released a Crush Vodka drink that sends 100% of its proceeds to Team Boneyard, a NIL collective that benefits East Carolina University college athletes. While bottles were only made available for a single-day event at a Greenville store, additional bottles will soon be obtainable across Pitt County.

Country Roads Trust: 1863 WV Gold

Swilled Dog, a distillery based in Upper Tract, W.V., recently released the 1863 WV Gold bourbon in collaboration with Country Roads Trust, a NIL collective supporting WVU athletics. The bourbon, named after the year W.V. gained its statehood, is available at select retailers.

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