Skip to main content

Ohio State football taps The 1870 Society as premier NIL collective

Nakos updated headshotby:Pete Nakos09/07/23


Urban Meyer Sends Message to Ohio State Fans That Are Doubting the Team After Week 1 Struggles

The Ohio State NIL market received some clarity on Thursday.

Athletic director Gene Smith announced in a video posted on social media that The 1870 Society will be the premier NIL collective for Ohio State football. It’s the clearest message released by the Buckeyes yet in the NIL Era regarding collectives.

Launched in April, The 1870 Society holds backing from a number of boosters, including Jason Priestas, Mark Stetson and Aidin Aghamiri. While the organization is a registered for-profit, the collective previously stated it does not, “intend to generate profits from running the business.”

As part of the announcement, The Foundation will be transitioning to the collective focused on men’s and women’s basketball, while the Cohesion Foundation will be the charitable organization for all Ohio State sports.

“It’s my pleasure to introduce the 1870 Society as the premier NIL collective for Ohio State football,” Smith said in a video released by the collective. “The 1870 Society is dedicated to creating NIL success for our student-athletes through education, empowerment, business opportunities and community engagement all by meeting the high expectations of integrity and compliance we have always maintained. This is a call to action for Buckeyes.”

The 1870 Society named Todd Markiewicz as its president shortly after its initial announcement. He most recently served as the vice resident and station manager for 97.1 The Fan in Columbus. Former Ohio State safety and national champion Tyvis Powell has his own podcast, too, and serves as the director of player engagement.

Ryan Day has backed the 1870 Society since its launch in April, appearing in a promotional video for the organization. Since then, he’s launched a podcast with former Ohio State national champion Michael Bennett serving as a host. It’s one of the few times a head coach has taken such an active role in promoting an NIL collective.

This is one of the first times a collective has earned the moniker as the premier NIL organization for a football program. The hope is fans will buy in to the program, providing a unified plan for boosters.

What does this mean for Ohio State?

The Foundation and The O Foundation announced a merger in February, bringing in the basketball-focused organization. Started by Cardale Jones and Brian Schottenstein in January 2022, The Foundation is a registered 501(C)(3). The IRS released a memo in June outlining concerns with non-profit collectives claiming tax exemption.

The organization’s focus will be on men’s and women’s basketball moving forward. Schottenstein said the collective still plans to assist NIL efforts in football.

“We’ve had a lot of success in our first year, and I think Ohio State has seen that success,” he told On3 in a phone interview. “We’re going to help basketball out through our 50-50 raffle. I’m proud in our first year to have supported more than 50 football and basketball athletes.”

NIL collectives have surfaced at nearly every Division I school in the first 19 months of NIL. And the word collective, which has no ulterior meaning, has become synonymous with college athletics’ new era. The race is to stockpile the most cash to distribute to current players so recruits know what they can make once they enroll at the college.  

Having each NIL entity in the Columbus market on the same page will only help in raising dollars while sending a clear message to fans on where to give.