The 12 players on Butler University’s men’s basketball team represent the first round of student-athletes from the school to sign name, image and likeness contracts to help nonprofit organizations. The contracts are administered through the newly-formed All Good Dawgs Inc., a 501c3 that facilitates philanthropic opportunities for the student-athletes. As AGD Ambassadors, the student-athletes receive compensation for their NIL usage.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Executive Director Mark McFatridge explained tax-exempt donations made to All Good Dawgs are used to pay the student-athletes.
“The benefit of having a Butler basketball player be a spokesperson for them…which should boost their marketing and the awareness of their mission… [is] that they don’t have to pay for it. All Good Dawgs, in this instance, would then pay that that Butler University basketball player for their service to another nonprofit.”
But McFatridge says it is not only about compensation. The AGD Ambassadors will participate in financial literacy, legal, and brand education sessions provided by AGD volunteers that will provide opportunities for personal growth.
“All Good Dawgs was formed to provide long term success for Butler student athletes through community service, experiential education, and lifelong relationships,” said McFatridge.
LISTEN: McFatridge further explains how the program benefits the athlete not only through compensation with other educational support.
In June 2021, the NCAA adopted an interim policy regarding name, image and likeness for student-athletes in all sports. It allows all NCAA D1, D2 and D3 student-athletes to be compensated for an entity to use their name, image or likeness for promotional or commercial uses.
AGD has partnered with 12 nonprofits and paired each student-athlete with a nonprofit. McFatridge says in some cases, the basketball player had a specific organization he wanted to help because of a personal connection.
The AGD Ambassadors amplify a charity’s efforts through a variety of ways, including special appearances, autograph signings, mentoring kids, and managing camps and clinics.
“To be able to have the opportunity to help kids and give back to the community is something I’ve always loved to do, and I appreciate All Good Dawgs for making it happen,” said John Michael Mulloy, a senior Bulldog who supports Little Wish Foundation.
While the athletes can represent high-profile organizations, like the Alzheimer’s Association or the Ronald McDonald House, McFatridge says most of the organizations that will benefit are smaller with fewer resources.
“There are some there are some really cool, smaller organizations that really will benefit from this,” said McFatridge. “Certainly, the smaller organizations are the ones who are going to benefit the most. And that’s where we lean more towards.”
Right now, All Good Dawgs is limited to men’s basketball, but plans to expand to other sports in 2023. McFatridge says limiting the pilot program to 12 ambassadors helps keep the initiative manageable.
“It allows us to get our traction of how we want this thing to run,” McFatridge said. “As we move forward, we want to open it up to all Butler University student athletes.“
As the program expands to other sports, McFatridge says donors will have the option to support specific sports with their monetary gifts. But for now, it’s men’s basketball and McFatridge hopes the Bulldogs have a good run this season as it helps raise the visibility and market value of players.
“We draw more attention, more donors, more funds and all that good stuff for nonprofits…and then benefits the community as a whole,” said McFatridge.