Top Shelf: The Volunteer Club Launches a NIL Collective-Inspired Vodka

Last Updated on September 16, 2023

The University of Tennessee’s Volunteer Club has joined a short list of NIL collectives that have entered the alcoholic beverage industry as a way to bolster attention and funds in support of its college athletes. The Volunteer Club, the NIL collective supporting Tennessee college athletes, is collaborating with West Des Moines, Iowa-based Foundry Distilling Company to release the Volunteer Club Vodka. Retailing at $24.99 across Tennessee, a quarter of the proceeds from every bottle of vodka sold will go directly to the collective.

“Volunteer Club Vodka isn’t just another spirit; it’s a celebration of the Tennessee legacy, as supporters enjoy a glass, they also directly contribute to the future success of Tennessee Athletics,” said Sheridan Gannon, the Director of Digital Marketing for The Volunteer Club.

A consistent theme with NIL collective-inspired alcoholic beverages is how the products are labeled. Each collective, leveraging their unique school traditions, gives the consumer, whether they are a fan of the team or not, an opportunity to become a part of their community. Volunteer Club Vodka comes with a label that describes the club’s mission and goals and a QR code on the back that provides directions on supporting the collective’s efforts to help college athletes maximize their NIL opportunities.

Given that six NIL Collectives have launched beers, the Volunteer Club’s decision to launch a vodka instead may net them a more profitable return, given vodka’s price point being higher than that of beer. However, there are rules restricting college athletes in Tennessee from promoting products in the alcohol, tobacco, and gambling space. While Volunteer Vodka cannot be advertised through University of Tennessee athletes, it will surely be a tailgate favorite across Tennessee.

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