On Wednesday night, Commonwealth NIL held a meet-and-greet with Virginia Tech Hall of Fame quarterback Michael Vick.
Passes for the event, held at the University Club in Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, were $1,000 each. 50 people were in attendance — each of the 25 attendees brought a guest. 16 tickets were also purchased at $1,500 apiece for the Mike Vick Golf Experience, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET at the Pete Dye River Course in Radford on Thursday morning.
Overall, Commonwealth NIL is expected to raise close to $50,000 from Vick’s two appearances. In turn, the money be distributed to CNIL’s student-athletes through name, image and likeness opportunities.
“We connected a couple of months ago, and we talked about this whole NIL space in the Commonwealth,” Vick said of partnering with Commonwealth NIL to help Virginia Tech in the NIL space. “I thought it was something that was a necessity right now in terms of college football and college sports in general. It doesn’t stop with the football, it extends to all sports, men and women.”
Nick Rush, a co-owner of Commonwealth NIL with his son, Forrest, shared a few mutual friends with Vick prior to reaching out. The former Atlanta Falcon and No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL Draft is the face of Virginia Tech athletics to many. Rush made a point to get Tech’s “biggest star” involved, and Vick was immediately invested.
“I thought it was right on time,” Vick said of his first conversations with CNIL. “You look at the landscape of college football and what’s happening within it, we want to be at the forefront of this success factor, plain and simple.”
In 1999, Vick led the Hokies’ charge to a Sugar Bowl berth as a redshirt freshman. He led the NCAA in passing efficiency, was a First Team All-American and finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy. Vick ranks 12th in total offense in school history with 4,276 yards, which he accumulated in just two seasons.
As a professional, he made four Pro Bowl appearances and played for the Falcons, Eagles, Jets and Steelers. He was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
If NIL existed when Vick played, one can only imagine his impact. Current Alabama quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young has a NIL valuation of $3.3M, according to On3. He’s even featured in recent Dr. Pepper Fansville commercials. If NIL was legal in 1999, Vick’s profile would’ve been through the roof.
“Maybe I was born 20 years too early,” Vick joked. “But that was just my day and time. This is a different day and time, and we respect it, we understand it. And we want to get the most out of this for our fans.
“Obviously, they’ll get a great education, come in and visit Virginia Tech, but most importantly be the best individuals and people that they can be when it’s all said and done.”
Wednesday was Vick’s first visit to Blacksburg in a few years. Though much has changed since, he was adamant about continuing to make Virginia Tech great.
“We feel like Virginia Tech deserves it,” Vick said. “We’ve been through our good years and our bad years, and we want to get back to the top. We feel like we can only do it as a group.”
The potential in the NIL realm is massive. Commonwealth NIL is a preferred NIL organization for the Hokies and has brought on numerous Tech student-athletes.
Justyn Mutts, Hunter Cattoor, Darius Maddox and Sean Pedulla are just a few of the men’s basketball players represented by CNIL. The group has also signed Cole Beck and William Ross, two football players, and Dave Whitfield, a track and field student-athlete.
“We’ve laid a great base, a great baseline, and we’re going to build off of it,” Rush told Tech Sideline. “We’re still in the infancy of what we’re doing. I’m very proud of what we’ve done for our student-athletes, whether it’s arranging interviews, helping build brands. … Mike [Vick] being helpful is wonderful.”
Commonwealth NIL is a leader in navigating Name, Image and Likeness (NIL). Visit CommonwealthNIL.com to find out what they’re doing to bring the world of NIL to Virginia Tech athletes, and to learn more about what you can do to help the Hokies be competitive in the NIL landscape.