Valiant Management, run by former Michigan football player Jared Wangler, launched the Champions Circle collective in June 2022. Valiant Management is a successful Michigan-based sports marketing agency. The group believes it is perfectly positioned to “connect U-M student-athletes with fans and businesses for NIL opportunities.” Champions Circle initially is focusing on football but has plans to expand to other sports in the future. “We believe strongly that it is important to reward University of Michigan student-athletes for the value they bring to the university, but in keeping with Michigan traditions, it is also important to help the athletes develop the personal, leadership and financial skills to succeed far into the future,” Wangler said. “Our coaches recruit the right student-athletes to the University of Michigan, and the Champions Circle will support their efforts by rewarding sustained educational achievement and personal development. We are confident this model can be replicated across all varsity sports at the University of Michigan.” Deals the organization has helped Michigan athletes sign include group licensing apparel deals with the football, basketball and hockey teams, signing events at The MDen, marketing partnerships with local and national brands, media appearances, signed memorabilia, podcast appearances, NFTs and private training sessions. Former U-M hockey athlete Niko Porikos helped launch the collective, but has since left to start a new venture.