Syracuse Orange: More encouraging news in the NIL space for the ‘Cuse

Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

There’s another positive development to share as it pertains to name, image and likeness (“NIL”) efforts for Syracuse Orange student-athletes.

Late last month, Atlanta-based Student Athlete NIL (“SANIL”) formed an official partnership with The Brandr Group, a full-service agency that represents the group rights of student-athletes to help brands amplify their marketing campaigns. The Brandr Group, according to its Web site, has offices in Davidson, N.C., and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

SANIL is the manager of Orange United, a commercial NIL collective that launched in mid-September to support players in all ‘Cuse sports in helping them secure NIL deals.

Around the time that it launched, we noted that Orange United had inked a deal with multi-media rights company LEARFIELD to be an official partner of, and the preferred collective for, SU Athletics.

A new NIL alliance will have ties to the Syracuse Orange.

Pete Nakos of On3 detailed the new partnership between SANIL and The Brandr Group in a recent article.

"As I’ve noted, SANIL operates dozens of commercial NIL collectives around the country, including several at Atlantic Coast Conference schools. The Brandr Group, Nakos writes, is “the group licensing partner used at more than 54 Division I institutions. The providers have been collaborating on projects for more than a year, however, this new agreement will streamline activations for athletes.”"

Per Nakos, “overlapping partners” among the two entities include the Syracuse Orange, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Rutgers and Vanderbilt.

As SANIL and The Brandr Group formally collaborate and are able to “pool together their resources,” Nakos says, one of the key goals for this partnership is to make things easier for student-athletes as they navigate all the various layers in the evolving NIL space.

The On3 story discussed how at schools where there is overlap among both organizations, including at the ‘Cuse, SANIL and The Brandr Group look to “accelerate revenue generation for athletes through brand and corporate partnership programs,” Nakos writes.

I’ve reported on how, in late October, Orange United launched a six-week, matching $500,000 fundraising campaign that is designed to encourage Syracuse Orange fans to purchase annual or monthly Orange United subscriptions, which will give fans access to content and other opportunities.

Nakos said that SANIL continues to build out its membership, and this applies to Orange United. The On3 reporter added that as SANIL grows its network of fans and donors, it will look to get more involved with content development and also merchandising, and that’s an area where The Brandr Group specializes.

Jason Belzer, the founder of SANIL, has told me in the past that Orange United has a goal of raising $6 million to $9 million annually to fund NIL deals with Syracuse Orange student-athletes in all sports.

Mark Hayes, the general manager of Orange United, said to me in a recent phone interview that he’s hoping to reach, or exceed, that goal “within a year.” He recently added to me, “There’s a lot of really good conversations happening.”

While I understand the sentiment from some ‘Cuse fans who think the Syracuse Orange is lagging behind others in the ACC and nationwide when it comes to NIL initiatives, this new alliance between SANIL and The Brandr Group is another encouraging sign that ‘Cuse NIL efforts are heading in the right direction.

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