TigerImpact, a name, image and likeness (NIL) program designed to connect student-athletes with community nonprofits in exchange for compensation, is now part of the athletic landscape, founders announced in downtown Clemson a few hours before Clemson University’s annual spring football game on April 9.
The organization, which has no official ties to Clemson University, is starting out with $5.5 million and 12 athletes from seven sports, including six from the football team. Bobby Couch, former senior associate director of IPTAY (Clemson’s booster club) will be the organization’s first executive director.
The founders are Clemson alumni Rich Davies, founder of Pavillion Development in Charlotte; Kendall Alley, former president of Wells Fargo Charlotte region and chairman of the board of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament and member of the 1981 National Championship team; and Kevin Gemas, managing member and partner for Smart-Step Lavs LLC, also a member of the 1981 National Championship team.
Eleven charities are participating, including Anderson County PAWS and Carolina Miracle League.
TigerImpact’s advisory committee features several former Clemson standout athletes including Ben Boulware, Lucas Glover, Hunter Renfrow, and Christian Wilkins, according to a release from TigerImpact’s public relations advisor Hughes Agency.
TigerImpact compensates student athletes in exchange for them providing marketing services to nonprofits. Both athletes and charities register for the program online, at which point TigerImpact matches the athlete with the charity. Donors, in turn, provide NIL funding once the work is complete. How much an athlete is compensated depends on their social media audience, media coverage of their sport and their position on their team.
The program inspired by a conversation Davies had with Nutifafa Shelter (Nshelter) founder Bella Attisso, whose husband, Aaron, was working three jobs to help support the family when she was going through breast cancer treatment. Her organization inspired Davies to get the university involved to help get more exposure for local nonprofits.
“Our mission is simple: To provide student-athletes with the opportunity to further develop themselves as part of their education while at Clemson and serve others by providing much needed support to community charities,” Davies sad. He realized charities like Nshelter did important work but didn’t have the resources to market themselves to the community.
Alley challenged Clemson fans to get involved through donations to the program. “Clemson needs you — these student-athletes need you — to help them develop into better, socially conscious members of their communities,” he said.
“It’s very hard to reach people and share what we are doing and try to get more support,” Bella Attisso said. She’s partnering with volleyball player Valerie Cagle to get the word out about Nshelter through her connection with the program.
We are Christians, we are cancer survivors, we are chaplains and we are educators. We love dedicating our time to serve our community. Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.