TCU-focused Think NIL collective pauses operations

On3 imageby:Jeremy Crabtree01/30/23


TCU-focused Think NIL generated national headlines in June 2022 when it became one of the first NIL collectives to absorb another group. Fast forward seven months and Think NIL is pushing the pause button on its operations.

“Think NIL announces (an) indefinite pause of operations following a memorable year of NIL activations for TCU student-athletes,” Think NIL announced on social media. “Over the past year, Think NIL has sought out and created numerous NIL opportunities for TCU student-athletes. It has been our honor to have had a direct impact on the overall student-athlete experience at TCU.

“During this pause, Think NIL will be evaluating and navigating the next steps of the organization. We look forward to watching the continued success of all our incredible student-athletes at TCU.”

Think NIL was founded by Guillermo Zamarripa, and Brent Cunningham was the collective’s Vice President of Operations. However, Cunningham announced Monday he will now be overseeing the newly launched LSU-focused Bayou Traditions collective.

More consolidation coming to NIL collectives?

Early on, it appeared that Think NIL was primed to be one of the most successful collectives in the Big 12.

It had a long, long list of players signed to be part of the collective, including many of the top student-athletes on the Horned Frogs football and basketball programs. Think NIL had also worked extensively with female student-athletes from the TCU soccer, golf, volleyball and track and field programs.

Yet, multiple NIL insiders told On3 that Think NIL was having issues raising funds to support all of its student-athletes.

Think NIL also had stiff competition in the TCU market from The Flying T Club, which has signed deals with more than 40 ambassadors, including representatives from the football, baseball, basketball and sand volleyball teams. Flying T has also raised more than $3 million by the Fall of 2022 – before the Horned Frogs’ historic run to the national championship game.

Many NIL experts believe more collective consolidation is on the way in many markets. That’s especially true as athletic departments officially tap their preferred collectives and boosters grow tiresome of donating to multiple groups.

NIL collective contraction has taken place in a number of other collective markets, including at top schools like Auburn, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and multiple other programs.