ORLANDO - Last summer collegiate athletes were granted rights to market their name, image, and likeness (NIL), which has sparked controversy. One type of NIL deal that has become more popular since the end of the 2021 regular season has been booster charities that are set up to benefit student athletes at different universities.
The first of which was “Horns with Heart” specifically “The Pancake Factory” which gives each offensive lineman at the University of Texas $50,000 to use on worthy causes in their communities.
As of today, the University of Central Florida joins the ranks of programs that have a fan funded NIL program as Dreamfield Co. announced “Mission Control.” Dreamfield sets out to engage athletes with local UCF fans through NIL, and give back time to their community while being compensated. All athletes at UCF will be able to participate in the project from football to women’s tennis, and the players will assist in monthly clinics, as well as having collectibles and NFTs.
This is a very similar format to what fans of the University of Florida have in “The Gator Collective” which also allows fans to create NIL opportunities for athletes. Similarly to that as well, “Mission Control” won’t be a “get rich quick” scheme for UCF athletes, but the compensation will be good enough to supplement income for athletes to pay for expenses of being a young adult. Also giving fans who may not have the financial resources to join the “UCF Shareholder’s Society,” but still want to be involved, a way to give back to the players.
Their first event as a groundbreaking launch of this new project will be a welcome back party for four UCF seniors returning for their final year of eligibility. Longsnapper Alex Ward, defensive lineman Anthony Montalvo, running back Isaiah Bowser, and offensive lineman Sam Jackson all announced their returns earlier this week. Now “Mission Control” and Dreamfield Co. are putting on an event with those four players as well as UCF legendary quarterback McKenzie Milton on Sunday January 9th at six o’clock on campus.
The founders of Dreamfield Co. including former college quarterbacks D’Eriq King and Milton both were the main lobbyists for NIL legislation in the state of Florida. King, who played quarterback at Houston before transferring to Miami, was the point man in creating the first team wide NIL deal between Miami’s scholarship athletes and mixed martial arts academy American Top Team.
Milton, who is a legendary quarterback at UCF, finished inside the top ten of Heisman voting twice, before a disgusting leg injury in 2018 forced him to miss two seasons of football before transferring to Florida State. Milton also netted a team wide deal before the season started between FSU’s scholarship players and Yummy Crypto, which created “NFTs” of FSU athletes for $500 plus an additional pledge of $60,000 to be split between the athletes.