The new wave of name, image and likeness deals have allowed Pitt players to profit off themselves and use their likenesses for charitable causes in the area, and a new opportunity will allow every Pitt player to benefit now.
SMU and Texas Tech have reached NIL deals this year that feature annual monetary compensation for their players, and while Pitt’s new NIL deal will not be so direct, it will provide every single player on the roster a chance to benefit. With the newly formed Steel City NIL Club, Pitt players will now be able to communicate directly with fans.
The Steel City NIL Club will raise money for Pitt players, but it will also allow for fans to pay to communicate directly with players and interact on members-only message boards. It’s a brand new way for Pitt’s players to profit off their likenesses, but also for Pitt fans to interact with their favorite players. Player-generated content will also be released covering past games, upcoming matchups, practice updates and recruiting stories.
Steel City NIL will feature an online community of message boards and chat rooms about all things Pitt football, player-generated content of Pitt’s stars and digital events to interact more with Pitt’s players. It’s the continuation of Pitt providing opportunities for its players — and in the current age of college football, it’s very, very much needed.
BREAKING: The Steel City NIL Club is LIVE NOW
Join the SCNC and support the whole team ⬇️ https://t.co/2a2rgVefXf
— Steel City NIL Club (@SteelCityNIL) August 9, 2022
Kenny Pickett was nationally lauded for his NIL initiatives, which emphasized philanthropy as well as his teammates. Pickett’s efforts included events with the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania, Make-A-Wish of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the Dollar Energy Fund and Voting Matters campaign. Pickett also donated his student-athlete per diem so that local youth teams could have resources to purchase bottled water for practices and games.
Johnny Petrishen is another who partnered with a clothing company to give back to the local community. A native of nearby Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, and Central Catholic alumnus, he partnered with Campus Mogul to launch “Team JP” and “Johnny Football” apparel, with all proceeds going to the Knead Community Cafe in New Kensington. Petrishen donated a free meal to the cafe for every tackle he made last season with the proceeds of his apparel funding the meals.
Cal Adomitis announced “Cal’s Kids” fundraiser to benefit the children at the UPMC Children’s Hospital. Adomitis, a Pittsburgh native who attended Central Catholic, announced a goal of $94,000, with the promise to shave his signature long, curly hair if the goal was met. And of course, he hit that goal and then some, raising over $115,000. And he shaved his long locks too.
Tre Tipton, a native of nearby Apollo, Pennsylvania and the recipient of the 2021 Disney Spirit Award as college football’s most inspiring player, partnered with Spreadshop to provide apparel. 25% of all proceeds from Tipton’s apparel sales went to his organization, L.O.V.E., to shed light on suicide and mental health awareness.
Carter Warren’s own “Carter’s Creation Initiative” partnered with Brushes & Beans Cafe and Ithen USA to spend the day with the local kids of the Millvale Boy’s and Girl’s Club to interact at a one-on-one, interpersonal level and partake in fun activities and events. Which is the continuation of Pickett’s own efforts from a season before.
And the latest effort from Deslin Alexandre, the founding of the Fifth Down Foundation, is a partnership with the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation, with the goal of raising $50,000 in order to provide better schooling, food and more for children in Cap-Haitien, Haiti — Alexandre’s hometown.
The Steel City NIL Club is a way for Pitt to allow its players to profit off of themselves while interacting with fans in a new way. And with the way Pitt stars have given back since NIL opportunities were legalized, it’s no surprise that additional opportunities are arising.
Additional information on the Steel City NIL Club will be released as the newly formed Club launches its website and social media page.