What is it?

The Cincy Reigns Name/Image/Likeness (NIL) Collective is a fundraising apparatus which helps the University of Cincinnati Bearcats fan base, alumni network, businesses and donors offer direct financial support to UC’s student athletes.

What’s behind the name?

“Cincy Reigns” comes from the lyrics of the University of Cincinnati’s pep song “Red and Black.” That song contains the following lyrics:

Fight, Cincinnati, and show the foe who holds the sway;

For the Red and Black shall drive them back,

And win the game today;

Fight Cincinnati: the victory’s ours again,

The bonfire’s light will flare tonight,

The Red and Black shall reign!

In order for UC’s student athletes and programs to thrive in the new NIL landscape predominant throughout college athletics, we must create a vibrant and robust financial ecosystem for our coaches and players.

How is Cincy Reigns Structured?

Cincy Reigns is a nonprofit corporation, having filed Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State. Cincy Reigns has also filed Form 1023 — Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code — with the Internal Revenue Service so that donors get the full benefit of a tax write-off for their donations.

While Cincy Reigns exists exclusively for the benefit of Bearcats student-athletes and fans, it cannot be legally “affiliated” with the University of Cincinnati. Accordingly, Cincy Reigns is a third party corporation that works closely with UC compliance, licensing, legal and UC’s sports marketing professionals to protect UC student-athletes and ensure compliance with all NCAA and UC NIL policies and guidelines.

Pursuant to Executive Order 2021-10D issued by Governor Mike DeWine, UC student athletes may not enter into deals with any company that sells tobacco, nicotine, or marijuana products. In addition, UC student athletes may not endorse gambling or sports betting entities either. Finally, UC student athletes cannot do any deals with businesses engaged in the “sale, rental, or exhibition for any form of consideration of adult entertainment that is characterized by an emphasis on the exposure or display of sexual activity.”

Please note that NIL compensation for athletes cannot be structured in a way that encourages or solicits a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment at a particular institution. “Pay for play” remains impermissible despite the practical recruiting activities by many NCAA coaches and athletic departments.

Who is in charge?

The specific individuals in charge are listed and described on “Our Board” tab. Consistent with numerous other NIL Collectives across the country, Cincy Reigns has a two-part leadership structure comprised of a Board of Directors and a Board of Advisors. The Board of Directors is responsible for the legal governance, financial accountability, and casting the vision and direction of Cincy Reigns. The Board of Advisors serve as a sounding board for UC’s student athletes as they navigate professional decisions and opportunities — whether they be connected to sports (things to avoid when hiring an agent, navigating life as a professional athlete, etc.), or just adjusting to adult life after graduation.

Financial Accountability?

Both the Board of Directors and the Board of Advisors is entirely volunteer. The individuals who have agreed to serve are committed to maximizing the financial benefit availability to UC’s student athletes. While the Board of Directors does foresee a need to hire an Executive Director and complementary staff to grow the impact of Cincy Reigns, we’ll be aggressive about running a lean operation to support the University of Cincinnati’s athletic success on and off the field.

More than money?

Cincy Reigns wants UC’s student athletes to thrive on and off the field, during their time as students, and well after graduation. Accordingly, we’ll offer character and life education opportunities for student athletes so they learn how to successfully compete at more than just the sport they love.