WICHITA—A non-profit was recently founded to benefit University of Kansas student-athletes through Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals while supporting other local non-profit organizations in the Lawrence area.
The Reaching Champions Joining Hearts (RCJH) Foundation will hit the ground running thanks to a gift of $1.5 million from KU alumni Brad Garlinghouse, the foundation announced in a press release yesterday.
“Every day there are opportunities for student-athletes to give back in some form or fashion, but they may not fully know how to do that,” Garlinghouse, also the CEO of Ripple, said in the release. “This is a chance to give back to a community and allow KU student-athletes to partner with those charities. This is a chance to embrace a new era of college athletics.”
The RCJH Foundation was founded by former Kansas baseball player Matt Baty, who has already landed NIL deals for KU student-athletes since the NCAA’s rule changes. Athletes across the nation have already benefited from nearly $1 billion in NIL deals in the first year, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Baty has spent the last year working to represent Jayhawks with his 6th Man Strategies initiative, notably the men’s basketball team. Baty’s 6th Man Strategies presented Remy Martin with a new car in a partnership with the Crown Toyota dealership in Lawrence last October.
In an effort to represent more student-athletes in a cohesive manner, 6th Man and 12th Man Strategies have been combined under a single entity, Mass Strategies, a nod to Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence.
“NIL has provided a unique opportunity to bring together the strength of the Jayhawk brand, a student-athlete’s community influence and local organizations seeking various support,” Baty said. “This new non-profit will be a catalyst to helping the student-athletes in their efforts to serve as well as the many local non-profits that need additional help.”
Mass Strategies and The RCJH Foundation will work together going forward to benefit KU student-athletes, creating advertising and other opportunities with local businesses and individuals.
The RCJH Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that is wholly separate from the University of Kansas and Kansas Athletics Inc.