The NIL collective is already taking those steps in its first full week of activity. Starting with “Run it Back,” a show dedicated to talking video games with USC athletes, BLVD is launching a content series across its platforms. Thanks to having the backing of Stay Doubted, a third-party media agency, BLVD has the structure and resources to film and produce the videos.
“Run it Back” is only the first series. Other series will include content based around cooking, music and fashion. Every participating athlete will receive NIL compensation, all while promoting and building their brand.
Distributing through BLVD social and digital outlets, each will focus on different athletes’ passions while blending the unique culture of Los Angeles. New shows and episodes will drop every week.
Former Oklahoma transfer and USC quarterback Caleb Williams is featured on the first episode of “Run it Back,” as he breaks down his love for Call of Duty with Sydnee Goodman, who will host the series next to other USC athletes. The two play a few rounds of capture the flag and discuss when Williams first started to play video games.
“That teaser just showed bits and pieces of what we’ve filmed the last few weeks and what we’ll rollout this fall,” BLVD senior account director Spencer Harris told On3. “We filmed four different shows showing athletes’ passion outside of sports. Each week we will release a new episode with a new athlete. Everything you see from us, the athletes are being compensated.”
What this means in the NIL landscape
This is a first-of-its-kind NIL deal. Collectives up to this point have used donor engagement and fundraising as a way to pay its current roster. Others have walked the fine line of pay-to-play, specifically with recruits.
But putting an athlete’s brand on display in such a unique way could soon term into an NIL norm. Sydnee Goodman is also not a no-name social media influencer. She has an Instagram following of more than 300,000 and has established a following, which gets Caleb Williams’ brand in the gaming space.
BLVD unveils details of donor program
Since the collective launched in June, more than 90 members of the USC football program have signed on with BLVD and will receive compensation this season. In under three months, the collective has dished out seven figures in deals. More than 33% of that cash has gone to offensive and defensive linemen.
The membership program has officially taken shape, too. Similar to other collectives across the country, BLVD is committed to providing the equivalent of a base salary to USC football players. The organization is approaching it as a salary-cap model, outlining how most blue-chip prospects expect to make $250,000 a year off of NIL collectives.
On its new website, BLVD details the membership options fans have. There are five donor levels: Exposition BLVD ($50 monthly or $600 annually), Abbot Kinney BLVD ($100 or $1,200), Santa Monica BLVD ($250 or $3,000), Hollywood ($500 or $6,000) or Sunset BLVD ($1,000 or $12,000).
The organization also has plans to secure official partnerships for the Trojans student-athletes with a goal of raising $75 million in five years — a number that appears to be within reach early on. The collective has eight figures of cash in the bank through donations and other ventures.