UTSA’s First NIL Collective
The Runners Rising Project was started in January 2022 with the goal of helping University of Texas at San Antonio student-athletes become champions on and off the field by providing direct financial support, personal brand development, career mentorship, and other professional opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Name, image, and likeness legislation created a new paradigm in college athletics. NIL deals are new and often misunderstood. Allow us to answer a few frequent questions about this project and NIL in general. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions that are not answered below.
Most frequent questions and answers
NIL, or Name, Image, and Likeness constitutes a new development in college athletics which allows student-athletes to generate income off of their own personal brand. Law changes from the State of Texas and bylaw adjustments from the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2021 allows student-athletes to begin pursuing endorsement and employment opportunities. UTSA has provided this helpful webpage to familiarize UTSA supporters of the ins-and-outs of NIL rules. The university is not legally permitted to arrange NIL contracts for student-athletes, thus organizations such as the Runners Rising Project are critical in helping UTSA student-athletes maximize their business opportunities.
Not at all. While our volunteers are UTSA fans and alumni, we have no formal affiliations with the university or athletics department and operate completely independently.
Donations to the Roadrunner Athletic Fund are critically important as it helps the UTSA athletic department with operational costs to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics. The Runners Rising Project doesn’t directly benefit the athletic department, but instead the student-athletes themselves. We provide UTSA student-athletes with direct payments in exchange for content. This source of NIL funding helps UTSA remain competitive with offerings and benefits at its peer institutions. Our ties to the business community also allows us to help UTSA student athletes prepare for their professional careers, secure other NIL contracts, and find mentors across many different industries.
The Runners Rising Project is currently operating as a not-for-profit organization. While we are recognized as a non-profit by the state of Texas, our status as a 501(3)(c) non-profit is under review by the Internal Revenue Service. While our formal federal non-profit status is pending, we operate exactly how most non-profits do. 100% of our profits are contributed directly to student-athletes, while our staff consists entirely of unpaid volunteers.
While we keep our member benefits thin in order to maximize payouts to UTSA student athletes, folks who contribute to the project will enjoy exclusive benefits such as eligibility to participate in “Ask Me Anything” sessions with UTSA student athletes, an invitation to our annual mixer, etc.
At this time UTSA student-athletes are nominated by our volunteer staff. In the future nominations will be processed via a form on our website. Our members vote on one male and one female NIL award recipient each month. These recipients should foremost be excellent ambassadors for the university as well as fierce competitors in their respective sport.
Transparency is one of the core values of the Runners Rising Project. We will generate regular financial reports to provide assurance that all revenue realized by the project is used strictly for operational expenses and direct financial support to UTSA student athletes.
We are always looking for passionate supporters of UTSA athletics to join our staff of volunteers. Applicants should have a keen interest in assisting in the professional development of student-athletes. Volunteers with strong ties to the San Antonio business community are of special interest. If you’re interested in learning more please follow this link to send us an email.
Not at this time. While we have received non-profit designation from the state of Texas, we are still awaiting formal review from the IRS to be recognized as a non-profit. At that time donors will be able to deduct their donations to the project on their tax returns.