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Activate Sports Management, formerly ActivateASU, is now a full-service NIL agency

The change allows the group to take a more active role managing an athlete's NIL

221127 Kenny Dillingham Presser(RVA)-14.jpg
ASU football head coach Kenny Dillingham being introduced in a press conference in the San Tan Ford Club at Sun Devil Stadium, Sunday Nov. 27, 2022.

ActivateASU, an organization based in Tempe designed to support ASU athletes as they navigate their opportunity to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL), is now a full-service NIL agency called Activate Sports Management as of Nov. 1.

Before the change, Activate was not allowed to be directly involved with certain parts of the negotiating process for NIL deals between companies and athletes. Founder and CEO Peter Boyle said the change allows the group to provide more comprehensive support to athletes looking to maximize their NIL opportunities. 

“Becoming a registered NIL agent really unlocks our ability to help the kids in ways that we have not been able to so far,” Boyle said.

Assisting ASU’s 650 college athletes across 26 varsity programs as they navigate the fast-changing NIL landscape requires an expansive support infrastructure. Activate Sports Management hopes to be a part of that. While its services are not limited to Tempe, the 18 athletes the organization has signed are all ASU athletes. 

READ MORE: Kenny Dillingham said ASU is 'turning a corner' on NIL. Here's why

Balancing athletic and academic success simultaneously was already challenging for many collegiate athletes. Since the Supreme Court's 2021 decision in NCAA v. Alston led to players' ability to make money on NIL payments and brand endorsements, the pressure of maximizing potential earnings and searching for opportunities to enter NIL partnerships has added more stress to the already hectic life of a college athlete.

In response, college athletes nationwide have started hiring NIL agents to help manage their image and navigate contract negotiations with possible brand partners. Boyle said Activate Sports Management’s transition from community organization to full-service NIL LLC allows it to serve as an agent to student-athletes, helping them sign fair contracts and remain compliant.

“The way it would work in the past is we would basically just introduce businesses to athletes and then kind of exit the room,” Boyle said. “Now, in this role, with the shift in an organization, we'd actually be in the room, and we can actually facilitate the deal with the athlete and negotiate on behalf of the athlete.”

ASU has worked to create some institutional support for athletes in the NIL space. As part of a partnership with Altius Sports Partners, an NIL development company, ASU now has an on-campus NIL General Manager, Rachael Bacchus

“It’s showing support for our athletes and trying to get them to the next stages,” Dr. Samantha Shebib, one of the group’s directors, said. “Inherently, being a Sun Devil is giving back to the community, and being a part of the Sun Devil community is something that ties us all together.”

Edited by Walker Smith, Shane Brennan and Caera Learmonth.

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