Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Looking to the future of Yea Alabama

Courtesy of Yea Alabama
Yea Alabama, Alabama’s NIL program has much planned for students fans and athletes this fall and forward.

“Long overdue,” “experiential” and “innovative” are the words Yea Alabama Executive Director Jay McPhillips used to describe college athletes’ ability to make money off their name, image and likeness. 

The policy has made its debut in college athletics in 2021 and has forced universities to grow along with it, including the Crimson Tide.  

The creation of the school’s NIL entity, Yea Alabama, has allowed for the future of NIL to remain steady on campus. With the program continuing to grow, Yea Alabama has much in store for its fans, athletes, and donors this year and forward.  

So far on Yea Alabama’s website, fans have the chance to pay for monthly subscriptions ranging from $18 to $250 a month. However, starting this fall, Yea Alabama is introducing a student membership that will be $5 a month or $50 annually. The subscription will be available for students enrolled at Alabama, to promote more on-campus support.  

“Supporting Yea Alabama is the most direct and effective way in giving our sports teams a competitive advantage on the field and on the court,” McPhillips said. 

Membership holders will get access to special events, as well as a discount card that can be used at several local businesses on and around campus. The objective is to work throughout the year to create engagement opportunities for students to interact with their fellow student-athletes to get to know the teams better. 

Another addition Alabama is introducing this semester is The Advantage Center that will be located inside of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Created by the sports marketing company Learfield, The Advantage Center will serve as a space for student-athletes to conduct NIL business.  

Crimson Tide athletes can use the space for everything from brand meetings and autographs, to podcasts or radio appearances. This space is set to open fall 2023, while details on the exact release date are yet to be announced.  

With all these big plans in the works, Yea Alabama Director of Content Aaron Suttles says educating more people about the policy is one of the organization’s biggest objectives for the year.  

“NIL’s impact on collegiate sports can’t be ignored,” Suttles said. “If athletic departments aren’t helping maximize student-athletes’ opportunities, then they’re missing out. While there’s no uniformity to it, it is the present and future.” 

Athletes across campus have already felt the impact of NIL as well. Senior gymnast Luisa Blanco, currently working her way toward the Olympics, believes its implementation will help maximize support for women’s sports.  

“We are just as proud to represent the Script A, and with NIL legislation it gives the perfect platform to pursue bigger opportunities, create a brand for ourselves and ultimately inspire the next generation of NCAA women’s athletes,” Blanco said.  

However, student-athletes can gain more from NIL than just brand deals. The time and work that go into their collaborations can be turned into business experience for post-graduation. 

During their time with Yea Alabama, athletes have the chance to learn how to read and negotiate contracts, as well as have a helping hand in building their brand for future endeavors. All domestic student-athletes on campus have access to Yea Alabama and the ability to participate in NIL. 

“They learn what it’s like to have expectations for a job, because they agree to do a certain number of tasks, whether that’s an appearance, or a meet and greet,” McPhillips said. “They’re signing up for something and having expectations to deliver, the same way a typical employee would after their collegiate career.” 

Yea Alabama employees believe it is just as important to serve their student-athletes as their fans and donors. The University of Alabama has some of the best student-athletes in the country, and continuing to expand the connection between them and Crimson Tide fans through this program is essential for all-around success.  

Much is planned for the end of 2023, and even more for the long-term goals of implementing NIL on campus and Yea Alabama.  

“We are ultimately here to serve our student-athletes,” McPhillips said. “Our goal for Yea Alabama in the next five years is to be the best in the country, period.” 

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