The financial impact of University of Arkansas basketball player JD Notae’s name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal on a regional nonprofit has, so far, been significant.
Notae’s ongoing “Drop A Dime” fundraising campaign benefitting Samaritan Community Center (SCC) raised $22,500 from Feb. 1 through March 8. The amount results from Notae soliciting contributions through social media posts and other activity and a running tally for bids to win an official Razorback basketball signed by Notae.
Notae, an All-American guard for the Razorbacks, supports SCC through a NIL deal with Athlete Advocate Consortium (AAC).
Springdale businessman Bryan Hunt and his wife Mandy launched the new organization in January to guide college athletes in the new era that allows them to make money from their NIL while remaining eligible to compete. Notae is the first signee and, so far, only AAC signee.
AAC will connect nonprofits with college athletes, who are now allowed varying degrees of new protections and opportunities to make money by selling their NIL rights. The NCAA announced the rule change on July 1, 2021.
Hunt said the company would use Notae’s NIL to benefit the SCC, a Northwest Arkansas nonprofit providing food and other resources to families living in need.
Hunt didn’t disclose the investment to start AAC or the financial details of Notae’s contract. There will be more deals announced, possibly even with non-Razorbacks.
In Notae’s case, depending on time commitments, he will raise awareness about SCC in several ways, including work, attending fundraisers or media appearances. The center is nearing the start of a $14 million capital campaign to build a new facility in Rogers.
Notae’s fundraising efforts will go toward the capital campaign and not general operations. SCC executive director Debbie Rambo said the nonprofit received $182,812 in donations toward the building campaign from Feb. 1 through March 1. An anonymous donor is matching all capital campaign contributions, pushing that total to $365,624. That means Notae’s total — doubled to $45,000 — is a little over 12% of the total raised in that time.
“Providing an assist in basketball is all about putting the team goals ahead of your own [and] getting points on the board,” Rambo said in a statement. “Our partnership with AAC and JD Notae has been a great example of that. JD’s focus on promoting the Samaritan Community Center and our current capital campaign has kept the focus on serving families in need across Northwest Arkansas. This new facility will be the result of a lot of ‘dimes’ being dropped across our community for a critically important cause.”
On March 3, the Southeastern Conference named Notae to its 2021-22 men’s basketball Community Service Team. The league coaches also voted Notae first-team All-SEC.
A 6-2 senior guard, Notae ranked second in the SEC in both overall scoring (18.9 ppg) and scoring in league games (19.7 ppg).
No. 15 Arkansas (24-7) starts play in the SEC Tournament in Tampa, Fla., on Friday at 1:30 p.m.