Ready to Ride
Back in July of 2021, a landmark ruling from the Supreme Court changed college athletics forever. The decision handed down in the case of NCAA v. Alston allows student-athletes to finally monetize and profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
Change presents an opportunity. This is the chance for all Minutemen to support the Commonwealth’s football program, along with our award winning band and spirit groups, while receiving exclusive benefits and access. The Midnight Ride Collective was created with the goal of supporting athletes at UMass by facilitating legal and compliant NIL opportunities as well as helping them prepare for a bright future as a graduate of the University of Massachusetts.
However, it is not just our athletes who will benefit from NIL. If we capitalize on this opportunity, gone will be the days of hearing our school described as a “sleeping giant” and alumni wishing they could’ve experienced the pageantry and magic that makes college football so special. Name, image, and likeness will usher in an era where Saturdays in the fall mean coming home to Amherst to reconnect with friends and family as we support a Minuteman football program the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be proud of.
NIL can be transformational at the University of Massachusetts. Why not us?
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS NIL?
NIL stands for “Name, Image, and Likeness" specifically referring to the use of an athlete’s NIL through marketing and promotional endeavors. Student-athletes at NCAA institutions could begin monetizing their NIL beginning on July 1, 2021.
WHAT ARE THE NCAA RULES REGARDING NIL?
Generally speaking, all NIL activities are permitted, as they follow these four guidelines:
- There must be quid pro quo attached to an NIL deal essentially requiring a student-athlete to do an activity in order to receive compensation
- That activity cannot be tied to athletic performance such as statistical achievements, wins, or awards
- That activity cannot be contingent upon the student-athlete committing to the university that the collective supports or tied to enrollment
- Institutions do not provide compensation in exchange for the use of a student-athlete’s NIL
NCAA rules also require student-athletes to follow their state law or institutional policy if there is no existing state law governing NIL activities.
WHAT IS AN NIL ACTIVITY?
An NIL activity involves the use of a student-athlete’s name, image, or likeness for promotional purposes by a third-party not associated with the NCAA or an NCAA institution such as:
- Social media influencing and other promotions
- Personal appearances at businesses, conferences, camps, parties
- TV ads, radio ads, print ads
- Endorsements of a third-party
- Student-athlete-run camps and private lessons
- Sale of student-athlete owned apparel and personal items
- Student-athlete run businesses
WHO DOES Midnight Ride COLLECTIVE work with?
Midnight Ride Collective works with student-athletes from the University of Massachusetts.
HOW WILL PAYMENTS BE MADE TO THE PLAYERS?
Midnight Ride Collective utilizes Opendorse, the leading operating software provider for collectives. This software allows student-athletes the ability to provide compliance reporting to the University of Massachusetts which can be accessed by the athletic department via a subscription and to the NCAA (if requested) as well as serves as the way to distribute funds to student-athletes after they have completed their NIL obligation.
DOES UMASS HAVE AN NIL POLICY?
Yes – the University of Massachusetts has a Name, Image and Likeness policy.
DOES MASSACHUSETTS HAVE AN NIL STATE LAW?
Massachusetts has legislation proposed surrounding NIL – Senate Bill 2813.
IS MIDNIGHT RIDE COLLECTIVE AN ENTITY OF UMASS?
No – Midnight Ride Collective is a third-party entity that is unaffiliated with the University of Massachusetts.
HOW WILL MIDNIGHT RIDE COLLECTIVE BE GOVERNED AND ADMINISTERED?
Midnight Ride Collective has an executive team who will organize the entity, raise funds, review/ratify annual audits, administer the Opendorse account, as well as manage public relations.
ARE CONTRACTS WITH STUDENT-ATHLETES EXCLUSIVE?
No – our agreements are intentionally non-exclusive to enable student-athletes to continue to build their brand with opportunities outside of Midnight Ride Collective.
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS GO TO THE ATHLETES?
We strive to keep our operating costs as low as possible so that as much of the contributions can be paid out to student-athletes as possible. Any remaining funds will be used to cover fundraising expenses, deal facilitation, and various administrative expenses.
DOES MIDNIGHT RIDE COLLECTIVE WORK WITH RECRUITS OR PROSPECTIVE STUDENT-ATHLETES?
No – In compliance with NIL regulations, Midnight Ride Collective will not meet with, contact, offer a deal, etc. to any prospective student-athlete. Until a student-athlete has signed their NLI and/or the institution has received a deposit of financial aid, they will not be contacted by Midnight Ride Collective.
For further questions, please contact us.