Co 2020 Cali Award Winner, Record Thru 5 Games
Aug 27, 2011
When we launched the SyraCRUZ Tailgate NIL Initiative as a bit of a lark two years ago, we had dreams of raising a few hundred dollars to rebrand our weekly Fine Mess Tailgate with the name of a single under-the-radar player and play our part in the NIL game in the way we felt it was intended. Fast forward to today and your generosity has pushed things beyond our wildest dreams. Since its inception we have raised nearly $40,000, completed transactions with 28 different Syracuse student athletes across six sports and have become the focus of media outlets across Central New York for our revolutionary approach in supporting Syracuse Athletics.

Such phenomenal growth has presented some logistical and operational challenges that border on unmanageable for a small team and I have been exploring opportunities to add efficiency to our processes while continuing to enhance our impact. It was important to us to abide by our guiding principles and retain a level of autonomy through this next phase and I am pleased to announce the next step in our journey.

I signed the final contract with SANIL (Student Athlete NIL)/Orange United Community on Friday afternoon. There were a few wrinkles that I had objected to but in the end all of my proposed edits were accepted, and we are assured of a continuation of all of the activities we have launched over the last two years.

This alliance will result in tangible benefits to all involved stakeholders. Specifically, it will:
· Provide additional benefits to SyraCRUZ Tailgate NIL donors including the opportunity to participate in a monthly subscription plan and, depending on level of support, offer invitations to meet the team events, access to an athlete portal where you can connect individually with Syracuse players and propose transactions for personalized interaction (social media posts, shout outs, personal appearances or one-on-one conversations), newsletter subscriptions, autographed memorabilia, VIP receptions and more. We have also discussed the possibility of syraCRUZ Tailgate centric off-season events such as meet and greet events and watch parties – in person and virtual.
· Integrate fundraising efforts giving OrangeUnited access to the over 140 unique individuals who have made our SyraCRUZ initiative such a success.
· At a minimum, maintain the level of support that we have provided to our partner student athletes. Our intention is to expand on this activity and offer even more opportunities to engage with Orange athletes.
· Help to streamline the NIL collective landscape for Syracuse Athletics by consolidating two major channels into a single point of entry.
· Ease the administrative burden by transitioning financial reporting, record keeping and transaction processing from a single individual using home-grown spreadsheets to a professional organization with the expertise, tools and ability to efficiently handle an enterprise of this magnitude.

Some highlights:
- I will be invoiced for. and turn over our existing carryover treasury to Orange United with all funds earmarked to support Fine Mess Enterprises (FME) / SyraCRUZ Tailgate NIL Initiative activities
- OrangeUnited will take over collection of future donations and management of transactions with Syracuse student athletes. At a minimum this will include:
- $5000 to our primary football representative in exchange for in season videos the week of home football tailgates and the use of his name, image and likeness to brand our tailgate.
- $2000 to a second football player who will serve as a cohost on the weekly videos
- $250 each to one or two football players who will serve as weekly guests on the videos; With a seven-game home schedule this will involve up to 14 different Orange football players.
- $500 each to one or two non-football athletes to appear for two hours as guests at each home tailgate. At a minimum we will have representatives from men's and women's lacrosse and basketball and men's soccer. We will consider representatives from other sports once those five have been scheduled but FME has the right to opt for multiple events for higher profile sports.
- Orange United may recommend student athletes to participate, but we will approve or reject any recommendations
- FME will review and approve all prospective offer letters

At this time, I urge everyone who has made a contribution to our program in the past to devote at least the same level of support to OrangeUnited for the 2024-25 year, If you already contribute separately to OU I will ask all to consider adding a bit to your current level of support. Mark Hayes will be cross-referencing contributions with the donor list I provided until a more formal methodology to identify members of our group is implemented. This gives him the ability to document that all FME/SyraCRUZ programs are fully funded by our donors. If you have not contributed to SyraCRUZ in the past but would like to support this initiative going forward, please sign up directly on the OrangeUnited site if you haven’t already done so and send me a private message with your name, board name and email address so we can be credited with your donation.

I will be meeting with Mark next week to solidify the next steps.

Once again, thank you each for your efforts and support to move this revolutionary project forward and have a great holiday weekend.
leonardo dicaprio bravo GIF

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