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As NIL funds continue to have a direct correlation to success in collegiate athletics, Georgia Southern is stepping up its fundraising efforts with help from Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell. The Eagles recently announced the Eagle Nation Collective as the “official gateway to link fans, donors and businesses with student-athletes to facilitate name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities.”
Essentially, on the most simplistic level, if Georgia Southern fans want to pay their players, the Eagle Nation Collective — which is not directly affiliated with the university — is the most streamlined way to do so. It’s no different than other collectives around the country and the move might be a little bit late in the grand scheme of things.
That said, it’s better to be late than never introduce a university-endorsed NIL collective at all!
Georgia Southern Athletics continues to prioritize and increase its overall support for our student-athletes, including maximizing their NIL opportunities. The Eagle Nation Collective is another opportunity for our fans, donors and alumni to support our student-athletes in their NIL-related activities while at Georgia Southern and when their careers are finished.
We fully support the Eagle Nation Collective.— Director of Athletics Jared Benko
To help get things up and running, the Eagle Nation Collective tapped into a surprisingly strong alumni base. No disrespect to Georgia Southern, which has established a relevant brand in the Southeast, but it wouldn’t be the first school you think of in terms of music or the NFL.
And yet, the Eagles have a decent group of talent on which to boast.
Georgia Southern’s collective went all-out for the rollout.
Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass, Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo and Chicago Bears cornerback Kindle Vildor are among those to push the collective and its efforts. As were two country music stars.
Cole Swindell, who majored in marketing at GSU, also got in the mix.
So did Luke Bryan. Bryan graduated from the university in 1999 with a degree in business administration.
For Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell to get involved with the NIL push is a big deal. They have big platforms in that part of the country, for one. Perhaps more importantly, they both reach a wide age demographic.
Getting high-profile, big-pocket boosters to donate to an NIL collective is one thing. Getting everyone else to donate is another. It has to be relatable. It has to be accesible.
Cole Swindell and Luke Bryan are both of those things.