New Clemson Collective born to help student-athletes, Clemson’s business community
from FanNation All Clemson with Will Vandervort, and from www.yardbarker.com/YardBarker.com
CLEMSON, S.C. — What started out as a lunch between friends, turned into an idea that will possibly help Clemson student-athletes well into the future.
“We started talking about different things going on in college football, and I kind of made the comment on what was going to happen and what NIL was going to do to college football and really sports in general,” said Clemson business owner Jason Beaty.
Name, image and likeness has ushered in a new era in college athletics. And in the process, it has changed the game. That is why local businessmen Beaty and Robert MacRae launched Dear Old Clemson, a NIL collective that will not only support Clemson University’s student-athletes, but will also bring local businesses, fans and athletes together.
“My first initial thought was that someone out there has to be taking care of this, right? Someone is making sure Clemson is covered,” MacRae said. “At the time, it just wasn’t happening.”
The two Clemson graduates did their homework. They talked with local business and community leaders. They met with Clemson compliance officials.
At first, they had several ideas and considered different concepts, but eventually Dear Old Clemson was born.
“We want to do this the right way,” MacRae said. “We are not interested in playing all these games that other folks are playing. We want to do things the Clemson Way. Let’s do it the right way. Let’s make sure Clemson is competitive (with NIL).”
Dear Old Clemson is the second collective to support Clemson’s student-athletes. In April, TigerImpact launched.
“Our hope is to put the platform in place and hope that Clemson businesses and Clemson fans, because most of this will come from the fans, that they do what they normally do,” MacRae said. “We hope they kind of step up and say, ‘Hey, I have kinda been waiting for an opportunity to figure out how to get involved.’
“So, we are giving them another way to do that. They have one way they can do that now, and that is with TigerImpact. That is a great way and a great thing to work with all of those charities. We are just going to give them another way, where they can do somethings that, hopefully, they will enjoy.”
What are those things?
For businesses and fans that just want to contribute to football, they can hop on the “ROY Bus” and have their contributions go straight to football. There will also be other club options available – the Clemson Athletic Club and the Lady Tiger Club.
Contributions from subscriptions to the Lady Tiger Club will go exclusively to support the athletes of Clemson’s women’s sports. The Clemson Athletic Club will support football, men’s and women’s basketball and other sports.
“However, if a fan or businesses wants to donate a certain amount of money to a certain sport, we will make sure those student-athletes receive that money,” MacRae said.
Club members have access to exclusive events with student-athletes, receive early access and discounts on collectible and other benefits. Dear Old Clemson has many benefits planned for club members in order to continue to add value to their memberships.
What does Dear Old Clemson get out of this?
Beaty is the owner of Clemson Variety & Frame in downtown Clemson, while MacRae is the CEO of MacRae Consulting Corporation and owner of the Clemson Insider Media Group.
“In the eyes of the IRS, we are a-for-profit, but we are not making a dime on this,” Beaty said. “Every bit of money that comes in, with the exception of any overhead (cost) we might have, goes to the student-athletes. I am not taking a dime or anything in my pocket for profit. Neither is Robert.
“In fact, it is costing us money. I have put my own money into this effort because that is how important the success of Clemson Athletics is to my business and this community. So, I am making that investment.”
A goal of Dear Old Clemson is to help the Clemson business community. Some of the funds raised will be used to compensate student-athletes in exchange for appearances at Clemson-area-businesses. Dear Old Clemson will match portions of the funds from local businesses that pay student-athletes to help promote their businesses.
“When Clemson is having success on the athletic fields, it certainly helps my business. I know it helps the other businesses,” Beaty said. “Clemson is a tourist town. People come here to see their Tigers and when they are here, they visit downtown, they shop in our stores, they eat in our restaurants, and they sleep in our hotels.
“When Clemson is playing well on the athletic fields, it benefits the entire community.”
A number of former Clemson Athletes will serve as advisors to Dear Old Clemson. The former student-athletes will determine the best way to raise and distribute funds for the sports they played at Clemson.
Former football players Kyle Parker, Adam Humphries and Shaq Lawson have come on board, while softball star Sam Russ is also an advisor. Parker will also be an advisor for baseball.
“We have some other folks that we are pretty sure are going to jump on board. They just have not given us permission to announce,” MacRae said. “But to have the players we already have and why we want them involved is because they have the expertise in their particular sport.
“They will help us decide what good events to have. What is a good way to get the former athletes involved? Also, they are going to be very important on how to distribute the funds to that particular sport. They will have a lot of influence on how to do that.”
About Dear Old Clemson
Dear Old Clemson, LLC was established in April 2022. The collective compensates Clemson student-athletes for attending events, promoting businesses, signing collectibles, sales of collectibles and interacting with members in person and virtually. Dear Old Clemson is fully compliant. The only athletes compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness are the ones that are currently enrolled at Clemson University.
Clemson fans and businesses are encouraged to visit DearOldClemson.com for more information.