Tennessee NIL collective hoping to drive conversation at the nation’s capitol

The meeting series will feature Spyre Sports officials and other stakeholders in the world of Name, Image and Likeness deals.
NIL at the Nation's Capitol.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 8:00 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Spyre Sports Group was one of the pioneers when it came to Name, Image and Likeness.

Previous Coverage: Name, Image, Likeness brings bigger stakes for college athletics

The group is the collective for the University of Tennessee and an industry leader in a space that is still relatively wide open.

Over the course of two days, Spyre officials will meet with collectives from the University of Mississippi, the University of Georgia, Clemson University and the University of Washington. They were welcomed to Washington D.C. by Arizona State University.

”We’ve used it as an opportunity to get a group of collectives together and I think the main goal there as things are getting shuffled out and lines in the sand are being drawn and one we have a voice in what we do and are not necessarily seen as a bad guy and two, the athletes we represent have a voice in whatever this new future of college athletics may be,” said Brandon Spurlock the Vice President of the Volunteer Club.

Spurlock is one of four people from Spyre heading to D.C. hoping to drive conversation about how to work in the NIL space.

”We’re looking to find and do well to have a competitive advantage for Tennessee first and foremost and Tennessee Athletes,” said Spurlock.

Alongside other collectives, the group will also be accompanied by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and NCAA President Charlie Baker.

”We really think it’s about getting a group of like-minded individuals in the room together and coming up with creative ideas and not really looking for a bailout per se,” said Spurlock.

The bailout Spurlock is hoping to avoid is from Congress. While the group plans to meet with lawmakers, they are hesitant to ask for the government to step in.

”I think we’ve got some creative people in the collective space, in the administrative space, in the university here, and our athletics department, we can all get together and come up with a solution or come up with a solution that falls short of federal legislation,” said Spurlock.

Spurlock said Spyre isn’t afraid of competition, or working hard; that’s not what this meeting is about.

The hope of these meetings is to even the playing field for schools and stakeholders involved.

”Sustainability is an important right, I think this maybe isn’t sustainable as it is right, so this is getting in a room and figuring out what is the best path forward,” said Spurlock.

Knowing for some schools this is the only path forward and means survival, but for others, it’s simply not possible to keep up.

”I’m talking the entertainment value and the revenue that drives through this athletics program,” said Spurlock. “So, how the athletes share in that how our company works in that space and you know handling that relationship with athletes.”