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Alabama gymnastics becomes third women’s team to sign NIL deal

Luisa Blanco of the Alabama Crimson Tide competes on the balance beam during the 2021 Division I Women's Gymnastics Championship. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The Alabama women’s gymnastics team has signed a team-wide NIL deal with CrowdPush, becoming just the third women’s team to do so.

The gymnasts will serve as brand ambassadors for the company during the upcoming NCAA season. As part of the partnership, each athlete will post to social media at least twice and participate in a 30-minute interview about the impact of NIL opportunities on student-athletes.

CrowdPush, a fan-based platform, allows fans to donate “pushes” for specific teams. The company then uses the funds to pay those student-athletes to promote the platform.

According to CrowdPush, a minimum of 85-90 percent of all funds received will be used to contract student-athletes. Seven percent will be kept for expenses and contract negotiation, while three percent will go toward processing fees.

The model, CrowdPush says, has been vetted by attorneys at the NCAA, state, and school compliance level.

CrowdPush CMO Josh Goodin said they hope to give each gymnast $20,000 by season’s end, amounting to a total of $350,000.

“Our goal is to become the fan-based donor method for colleges around the country,” Goodin told Forbes. “NIL is already becoming a huge tool in recruiting, with alumni groups and corporations pouring out big money to not just the star players but star sports. With CrowdPush, we can set up funds for the lacrosse team, track & field, golf – you name it. These players sacrifice their time, energy, and talents to make their schools proud. Compensating them in return, is a powerful revolution in collegiate sports.”

Many individual college athletes have signed NIL deals, including UConn basketball stars Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd. UCLA soccer forward Reilyn Turner recently became the first student-athlete to partner with Nike.

Alabama gymnastics follows the University of Central Florida and Michigan State women’s basketball squads as the only teams to sign NIL deals.