Since the floodgates opened in July of 2021, NIL collectives have been popping up all across college football.
Some have been lucky enough to have partnered with their university of choice. Others have quicky flamed out or been relegated to the background while the larger collectives make moves.
The SEC as a whole has been pretty quick to jump into the NIL game – some of the universities are already boasting the strongest collectives in the sport – but, as part of the conference has lagged behind it’s taken nearly a year for programs to finally gain some traction.
Here is a ranking of every NIL collective(s) in affiliation/partnership with each SEC team.
NOTE: Most collectives have not publicly shared how much they have raised or distributed to their student-athletes.
1. Texas A&M (The Fund)
The Aggies’ collective earned their athletes over $4 million during the 2021-22 school year, per Collier Logan of All Aggies. Collier noted in his September article that “While NIL is a largely unregulated realm, the state of Texas requires that NIL contracts be disclosed along with their values. This allowed Travis Brown at The Eagle to compile some of the numbers for a better look at the NIL situation in the state. When all the sums were tallied up, athletes at Texas A&M earned over $4 million in NIL money during the 2021-2022 school year.”
The rumor that A&M spent over $30 million on their most recent recruiting class seems to be untrue, but the collective is certainly helping all of A&M’s student athletes get compensated.
2. Tennessee (Spyre Sports Group)
Spyre (created in 2020) has taken NIL seriously, pushing the Vols to the top of the NIL landscape while generating over $4.5 million in for 126 student athletes since July of 2021. The Volunteer Club has ambitions of reaching $25 million annually to produce for its student athletes.
3. Alabama (High Tide Traditions)
Founded in April of 2022, High Tide Traditions has taken over as Alabama’s primary NIL collective for student athletes. The Crimson Tide also have “The Tuscaloosa NIL Club” which primarily partners with YOKE, an app that allows fans to connect with influencers via paywall.
Head football coach Nick Saban said that his players made over $3 million combined last season. That number has surely gone up this year.
4. Auburn (On To Victory)
On To Victory began its quest in July of 2022 to “be the voice of our donors and of our Auburn Family and assist them in forever changing the lives of our student-athletes.” OTV has been confirmed to have raised over $12 million in revenue.
According to the website, 90% of the profit goes to Auburn student-athletes.
5. Georgia (Classic City Collective)
Every single player on Georgia’s roster received an NIL deal this year. A lot of that is due to the impact of the Classic City Collective, UGA’s primary collective founded in March of 2022. CCC provides NIL opportunities for all 21 of Georgia’s sports.
Should we count points towards having one of the cleanest websites in the collective game?
6. Ole Miss (The Grove Collective)
The Grove Collective was not performing at peak ability until head football coach Lane Kiffin began pondering a move to Auburn. In response, the fanbase kicked it into gear and the collective now has over 5,000 members as of December 2022.
They announced in November that they had surpassed their 2023 goal of $10 million. This is one of the stronger collectives in the conference.
7. LSU (NILSU)
NILSU is the official partnered collective of LSU. There isn’t much information out there about what the collective is doing from a revenue standpoint, but given the fact that it’s LSU’s primary collective (their website is attached to LSU as well), there’s reason to believe that this isn’t a bottom-half collective in the league.
It’s interesting that their social media presence isn’t stronger considering how much thought and effort clearly goes into it.
8. Florida (Gator Guard)
Gator Guard was founded in April of 2022 and picked up steam in Gainsville despite a pair of other collectives already being in place; they had over $5 million raised for the collective quickly following their launch.
There are no reports as to what the collective has done since, but with Gator Guard being alongside The Gator Collective, Florida’s NIL future is in very good hands.
9. Mississippi State (The Bulldog Initiative)
MSU’s collective The Bulldog Initiative didn’t truly take off until towards the end of the football season, but after AD John Cohen left for Auburn the collective tripled its membership to 909 and has received $500,000 in new annual donations. It’s not clear where they stand now, but it’s a clear improvement compared to where they were.
Similar to Kentucky’s situation, it’s better late than never.
10. South Carolina (Garnet Trust)
Garnet Trust (launched in November of 2021) is the largest collective that USC has, with over 100 student-athletes currently signed.
Companies looking for NIL opportunities can reach out through Garnet Trust to the student-athletes and pitch deals.
11. Arkansas (Athlete Advocate Consortium)
The Athlete Advocate Consortium was launched by Bryan and Mandy Hunt in January but did not start operation until October. The AAC puts a point of emphasis on being a non-profit organization while providing “each student-athlete a full-time team dedicated to all facets of their college career and most importantly, their future.”
There seems to be little information out there as to how much the collective has raised, or how involved they are with the football team.
12. Kentucky (The 15)
There have been a lot of complaints in the Kentucky media-sphere about the slow progress surrounding UK’s NIL programs, but The 15 has emerged as the primary collective in Lexington. They’re a little unorthodox in the way they operate, as “The 15 works with its parent company – Athlete Advantage – to allow corporations and businesses of all sizes to partner with student-athletes from UK through multi-year marketing and endorsement programs and increase their brands.” (On3)
It’s a vastly different approach to NIL than many other collectives out there.
It doesn’t seem like the collective is set to make any significant impact for a while. Better late than never.
13. Missouri (Every True Tiger)
After the stats gave into some of the legal requirements for NIL deals to occur Missouri’s collective rebranded to Every True Tiger Foundation, a collective that will “enable athletes to earn compensation for their Name, Image and Likeness by partnering with other non-profit organizations who help to better the community.”
There seems to be nothing out there regarding how much the collective has raised.
14. Vanderbilt (The Anchor Collective)
The Anchor Collective was a little late to the party, launching in November of 2022 – but nonetheless is here as the primary collective for Vandy student-athletes.
There is no information out there as to how much they have raised since their start a month ago.
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