1Oklahoma collective announced as the new official collective for the University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma has officially partnered with the new 1Oklahoma collective to support student athletes. Move marks a major transition to new life in the Southeastern Conference.
Oklahoma v Brigham Young
Oklahoma v Brigham Young / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

The University of Oklahoma has officially announced its first partnership with a student-athlete collective organization. On Monday, the 1Oklahoma Collective partnered with the University of Oklahoma to become the only student-athlete collective formally associated with the University. The official partnership consolidates the two previously unaffiliated collectives (Crimson and Cream and the Sooner Nation collective) into one united collective organization to promote the name, image, and likeness of Sooner student-athletes.

The reason for the merger is two-fold. The first and primary reason for the transition is to make it more efficient for donors to have a centralized place to contribute to the NIL campaigns of Oklahoma's student-athletes. It should also serve the student-athletes better by having one central organization that promotes the name, image, and likeness of athletes. It also prevents the inter-competition of collectives within the athletics program at OU, making the potential revenue for student-athletes greater.

The merger comes one week before the University of Oklahoma makes its most significant move in program history by transitioning into the daunted Southeastern Conference.

A college athletic collective is an organization or group that pools resources to support college athletes, particularly in the context of the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules. These collectives are typically composed of donors, alumni, fans, and businesses who contribute funds and resources to provide athletes with financial compensation and other benefits in exchange for using their name, image, or likeness in marketing and promotional activities.

College collectives aren't a new concept; they are becoming critical components of any successful college athletics program. The wealthiest college athletic collectives are typically associated with schools with strong athletic programs and passionate fan bases... just like OU.

Key aspects of college athletic collectives include:

  1. Financial Support: Collectives gather funds from various sources to pay athletes for endorsements, appearances, social media promotions, and other activities related to their NIL.
  2. Promotional Activities: Athletes engage in activities such as signing autographs, participating in events, creating social media content, and other promotional work in return for compensation.
  3. Community Engagement: Collectives often involve local businesses and community members, creating a strong connection between the athletes and their communities.
  4. Recruitment and Retention: By offering competitive NIL deals, collectives help colleges attract top talent and retain current athletes, providing an additional incentive beyond scholarships and traditional support.
  5. Compliance and Regulation: These collectives operate within the regulations set by the NCAA and state laws regarding NIL, ensuring that all activities are compliant with relevant rules.

Overall, college athletic collectives play a significant role in the evolving landscape of college sports, where athletes can now monetize their personal brands while still in school.

As of the Spring of 2024, the top-5 wealthiest athletic collectives are the Texas One Fund (Texas), The Foundation (Oregon), The 12th Man+ (Texas A&M), The Gator Collective (Florida), and The Knight Commission (Miami). Three of the top 5 are SEC-based collectives, and they are all consolidated.

This is the way things are now. As a collective goes, so goes the program. If Sooner Nation wants to see success in the field, it will have to be supportive of these collective ideas. The promotion of name, image, and likeness is well past due for college athletes and these are good for the programs. Check out the 1Oklahoma collective here.