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Penn State NIL Collective Launches $2 Million Campaign

Success With Honor seeks to raise $2 million by New Year's Day, backed by a $1 million matching donation.

Following Penn State's successful fall sports season, and with the NCAA Transfer Portal opening in three days, the Penn State NIL collective Success With Honor has launched a $2 million fundraising campaign backed by a $1 million matching donation.

Success With Honor's goal is to raise $2 million in new subscriptions by New Year's Day. Jason Belzer, co-founder and CEO of Student Athlete NIL, which manages Success With Honor, said that the campaign is designed to position Penn State more strongly in the NIL marketplace. It also seeks to capitalize on a fall in which Penn State's football team went 10-2, the field hockey team made the NCAA semifinals and the women's soccer team won the Big Ten tournament.

To accelerate the fundraising effort, Anthony Misitano, CEO of PAM Health, has pledged to match all donations up to $1 million for the next 30 days.

"There is no university in the world that has provided a greater student-athlete experience than Penn State," Misitano said in a statement. "Success With Honor was established to help the next generation of student-athletes accomplish amazing things during their time in Happy Valley, on-and-off the field. We now need the support of Nittany Lion Nation to ensure that our university provides unrivaled NIL opportunities for each and every student-athlete."

The fundraising campaign further looks to position Penn State football for an important month of recruiting and transfer-portal signings, for which Name, Image and Likeness opportunities are imperative to attract and retain talent.

"I know a lot of Nittany Lion fans have been asking how they can help when it comes to NIL," Penn State football coach James Franklin said in a statement. "We have a championship mindset with everything we do. To support our longstanding tradition of excellence, and to continue to win championships, we need to be the absolute leader in providing every one of our student-athletes with NIL opportunities."

Success With Honor has raised about $3 million since launching in April, Belzer said, and its funds support athletes from all 31 Penn State sports.

Penn State is in a unique position regarding NIL. Several collectives support the program: Success With Honor, the football-focused Lions Legacy Club, and the We Are collective, which purchases disability insurance for athletes.

Yet, Belzer said, Penn State has room to improve. Auburn's NIL collective has raised around $13 million, according to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. An Ole Miss collective recently announced that it had raised $10 million. Belzer estimated NIL collectives in the SEC to be worth more than $100 million combined.

"So the reality is, if you want to be a top-10 football program, which is what Penn State currently is, they're going to have to be in that echelon [in terms of NIL funding]," Belzer said. "And they're not quite there yet."

Those numbers grow more meaningful Dec. 5, when the NCAA Transfer Portal opens for a 45-day window. For many transferring players, NIL opportunities will factor into their decisions.

"There's some really talented kids on the [Penn State] roster, and there's a market right now," Belzer said. "When the Transfer Portal opens, there's going to be a $250 million market for college football players. There are schools that are equipped to take advantage of that and there are schools that are not."

Belzer said that 75 percent of Success With Honor's subscription base supports football. The No. 2 program is Penn State's top-ranked wrestling team.

"Success With Honor has the most robust wrestling collective in the country," Belzer said. "We are leaps and bounds above anybody else."

Success With Honor sells fan subscriptions ranging from $10-$500 per month. Fans can donate to specific teams and receive benefits that include exclusive content, meet-and-greets and autograph signings. Success With Honor says 90 percent of contributions go directly to athletes.

"It's not all about the money for these kids," Belzer said. "But if it's no money vs. some money, it changes the dynamic."

For more information, visit Success With Honor.

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