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37 Days Until Kansas Football: NIL Initiative Rebranding

Some takeaways from the news surrounding the rebranding and new funding for an organization dedicated to support NIL opportunities for the Kansas Jayhawks.
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This morning, an announcement was made about a rebranding effort for the initiative supporting Name, Image and Likeness efforts at the University of Kansas.

While we gave you an update on some of the efforts being made by the Kansas Athletic department last month, today's news concerns the independent efforts being spearheaded by former staffer Matt Baty.

Part of the announcement was the consolidation and rebranding of 6th Man Strategies and 12th Man Strategies, which coordinated Kansas Basketball and Kansas Football NIL opportunities, respectively, into a single entity under the name of Mass Strategies. 

In addition to the announcement of the rebranding, the organization announced two additional items: a $1.5 million donation from KU alum and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and the launch of the Reaching Champions Joining Hearts (RCJH) Foundation. The new foundation will focus on connecting Kansas athletes with local non-profit organizations to help publicize their efforts.

You can read the linked article above for more details on the announcement, but I also wanted to take the opportunity to look at what this means for the Jayhawks.

Smart Rebranding

Say what you want about Matt Baty (and plenty of people are), but it's impossible to ignore the creative rebrand, which ties this initiative to the iconic downtown street in Lawrence. And there is definitely some value to bringing the two arms of the organization together under a single umbrella. I've heard of some minor confusion about trying to coordinate across two different entities, especially with opportunities intended for multiple Kansas programs.

Additionally, the separation of the for-profit portion of the business from the non-profit opportunities might sound complicated at first glance, but it can help to streamline the process and keep everything much easier to manage when it comes to staying on the right side of the IRS.

RCJH Foundation

The creation of the foundation attached to this initiative puts the Kansas collective on similar footing to multiple programs around the country. There might be some debate on whether a non-profit foundation is the right vehicle to advance these efforts, but not being a tax professional myself, I'm just reassured by the fact that these organizations seem to be fairly prevalent in the NIL space right now. 

And of course they knew what they were doing when they picked the name, taking advantage of the familiar abbreviation for Kansas fans.

NIL Money Increase

The biggest news of this release is the news of another Kansas alum that is entering the NIL space. It's no secret that Kansas doesn't have the huge pool of wealthy alums that schools like Texas and Miami do. That means that every donor who starts contributing is a big deal. 

And there are rumors that there are more NIL announcements to come in the near future, although what form those will be are still up for debate. At the very least, we know that Kansas is still looking to fill an in-house position that will focus on NIL opportunities for Kansas athletes.

But no matter what, it is good to see that more opportunities are on the way to help the Jayhawk athletes profit off their Name, Image and Likeness rights. And that at least some of these opportunities can support local charitable causes is just a bonus. 

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