USF is becoming the latest program with a name, image and likeness collective through the launch of Fowler Ave Collective.
The third-party organization — which went live Friday morning at fowleravenue.com — bills itself as a “private fan club” to support players. For monthly membership fees between $10 and $200, USF fans gain access to in-person and virtual gatherings with current players. Those players are then paid through the collective.
USF quarterback Gerry Bohanon, the transfer from Baylor, has signed up as the Fowler Ave Collective’s first ambassador, according to the organization.
Former Bulls star quarterback Matt Grothe will serve as host and emcee for its virtual events, such as conversations on Twitter Spaces. Grothe said those events will probably take place weekly at first.
“I think it’s huge,” Grothe said of the group’s launch. “It’s the biggest thing we can do right now, honestly, in my opinion, besides win games.”
Collectives have become a major factor in the rapidly evolving name, image and likeness (NIL) marketplace. Rather than relying on a handful of rich boosters, they use a wider net of everyday supporters to put collective contributions into an NIL pool for athletes.
As of last month, the recruiting website On3 counted more than 100 collectives that are already active or are expected to go live soon. The list includes Florida (the Gator Collective), Florida State (Rising Spear) and Alabama (High Tide Traditions), plus a handful of Group of Five programs such as SMU, Memphis and North Texas.
Fowler Ave Collective was started by Dreamfield, an Orlando-based firm that also launched collectives at UCF (Mission Control) and Georgia Tech (Swarm the ATL). Its external affairs director is USF alumnus Corey Staniscia, a Bulls student manager from 2006-11.
“This support group is so imperative to the future successes of our student athletes and athletic programs in this new world,” Staniscia said. “Fowler Ave is a perfect way to get to know the faces of USF on all teams, not just football. It is also a perfect opportunity to merge the bold history of USF with the new age.”
Though USF does not have the massive fan base of Florida or FSU, Grothe said he knows the Bulls have a diehard core of 5,000-10,000 supporters who are invested in the program.
“Those are the people that I really want to try to reach off the bat,” Grothe said.
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