Three new collectives have been announced to support Virginia Tech student athletes: Commonwealth NIL, Hot Route Marketing, LLC and Triumph NIL.
Three new collectives
Commonwealth NIL is a local company affiliated with Gentry Locke Attorneys, a group which has offices located in Roanoke, Richmond and Lynchburg. Commonwealth NIL is currently active in raising resources for NIL contracts through events, activities and special sales with a unique focus in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Hot Route Marketing, LLC
Hot Route Marketing has taken a different approach than other organizations in the NIL space. Under the leadership of Virginia Tech alum Kelly Woolwine, Hot Route Marketing, LLC represents a vehicle in which business, donors and fans can invest into a consolidated pool of resources from which NIL opportunities can be arranged for student-athletes.
Triumph NIL, LLC
Triumph NIL seeks to partner corporate clients with Tech student-athletes to build compelling campaigns that drive real results, in addition to offering platforms for donors and fans to support their favorite Hokies. Founders include Jim Cowan, Joey Harrington, Doug Hicks, Brenden Hill and Kevin Jones.
“Virginia Tech needs a dynamic group in the NIL space that will work within the school’s vision to recruit, retain and reward their valuable student athletes,” said Jones, Triumph partner and former Tech standout running back. “With Triumph, an experienced, connected and compliant team is now available to engage those student-athletes, companies and individual supporters for business purposes.
“The expansive backgrounds of our partners will pave the way for compelling programs benefiting all involved. Our group is augmented by my wife Robyn, a member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, a former class president at Virginia Tech and the First Lady of Triumph NIL.”
Reaction from Virginia Tech coaches
Virginia Tech coaches are excited about these new developments.
“I appreciate Whit and our administration at Virginia Tech continuing to be proactive in the quickly evolving NIL space,” said head football coach Brent Pry. “Launching the Hokies Exchange platform represented a vital first step to give our student-athletes direct access to business opportunities. The fact that multiple NIL collectives have chosen to align with the Hokies indicates the marketplace is very interested in collaborating with Virginia Tech athletes. I’m grateful our athletic department remains committed to providing the resources to help our student-athletes navigate the NIL process. Our entire staff is also encouraged that several collectives have expressed their interest in helping current Hokies tap into the power of their association with Tech Athletics.”
“I’m thrilled that Virginia Tech and our administration have provided our athletes with numerous opportunities in the NIL space,” said women’s basketball head coach Kenny Brooks. “From education and the Hokies Exchange platform to these new NIL collectives, we are doing everything that we can to ensure our student-athletes have the resources to make informed decisions and have the confidence to approach NIL opportunities in a manner that will benefit them. Our mission is to support student-athletes in all of their endeavors on and off the court. This is another step in the right direction for our department and I’m delighted to see this put together with our athletes in mind.”
Men’s basketball head coach Mike Young says these developments are crucial for recruiting and retaining talent.
“There may not be a hotter topic on the recruiting trail than NIL right now. The NIL space is ever-changing, and I applaud our leadership within Virginia Tech Athletics for being proactive and continuing to bolster our NIL opportunities. Our guys have experienced first-hand some of those benefits. Now that we have multiple NIL collectives aligned with us, those opportunities will only increase. I appreciate the sense of urgency our athletics department has shown in enhancing our NIL programming. It’s critical that our student-athletes have the education and tools to succeed in this space as we forge ahead in this new era of college athletics.”
More on Triumph NIL
Cowan and the other founders of Triump NIL believe the local business community will rally around Virginia Tech student athletes.
“As a long-time Blacksburg resident, I’ve seen the relationship between our business community and Virginia Tech athletics drive the area’s economic growth,” said Cowan. “I’ve , also, become a passionate Hokies fan along the way – but it’s hard not to be when you can hear the crowd from your house on game day!”
“Blacksburg, VA is among my favorite places on earth,” said Hicks. “Since moving to town in 1987, I’ve seen Virginia Tech athletics serve as an economic engine Southwest Virginia. It’s an honor to, in some small way, be able to contribute to the continued growth of the school and community for all who say, ‘This is home.'”
“Coming to Virginia Tech remains one of the most surreal moments of my life,” said Harrington. “I have so much love and passion for the university and, especially, for its athletic programs. Helping Virginia Tech athletes make the most of their NIL is the best way I can contribute to those teams and make a meaningful difference for the individual athletes.”
Co-founder Hill is a former Virginia Tech student athlete who jumped at the chance to get involved.
“As a Virginia Tech alum and former student-athlete, it is important to me that my alma mater have a voice in the NIL space. We have a passionate fan base and a tradition of excellence that will help our university succeed in creating opportunities for future, current, and former student-athletes. I want Triumph to lead the way in developing innovative and compliant programs in this space.”
Triumph will be leveraging Virginia Tech’s Hokie Exchange, powered by INFLCR, which will allow Triumph’s staff to utilize to find and communicate with VT student athletes in their personal INFLCR app.
“It’s wonderful to see clients like Virginia Tech prepared for a moment like this by having their own local (Hokie) Exchange,” said INFLCR Founder Jim Cavale. “Triumph is already registered for Hokie Exchange, where they can use our technology to message, transact and report NIL opportunities with VT student-athletes.”
Virginia Tech has been proactive with its NIL approach. Earlier this year, Virginia Tech Football, along with Fanatics and OneTeam, announced a partnership that will allow fans to buy customized jerseys that athletes will be compensated for.
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