NIL for Lady Vols teams is a ‘Boost (Her)’ effort

Tom KingFarragut

NIL – Name, Image & Likeness. And like it or not, it’s here, it’s real and it’s not going away. Big business and money, like never before, are driving college athletics. The Lady Vol Booster (Her) Club is working hard to make certain that Tennessee athletes playing on the nine women’s teams get their fair share.

Terri Holder, president of the Lady Vol Boost (Her) Club, spoke August 30 to the Rotary Club of Farragut. With her was Danielle Baird, the club’s new director of operations.

If you are unfamiliar with NIL, here’s a brief description: it is a new development in college athletics that allows student-athletes to generate income in a variety of ways:

  • Appearing in ad campaigns
  • Selling ads on their social media accounts
  • Selling merchandise
  • Starting their own sports camp
  • Starting their own business
  • Selling signed memorabilia
  • Making paid appearances
  • Delivering speeches for a fee
  • Arranging autograph signings
  • Lunches or dinners with donors

Today 40 Lady Vols have signed NIL deals with a variety of companies and organizations: 11 basketball, 12 softball five soccer, three each from volleyball and golf, two each from swimming & diving and track & field and one each from rowing and tennis.

Of those 40, 22 Lady Vols are not on full scholarships, Holder said.

“We are trying to make an impact and help these athletes make some money to offset expenses and bridge the gap for things not covered by scholarship money,” Holder said.

In case you have wondered, the athletes must declare this money for income tax purposes.

Not one member of the softball team is on a full scholarship. Coach Karen Weekly’s team is allowed money for 11 scholarships and that money has to be divided in varying percentages among the players. “And you need to know that the NCAA sets the number of scholarships for each sport, men’s and women’s, not the university or the athletic department,” Holder said.

This year the Boost (Her) Club had $420,000 in scholarship money to use in all of the nine sports teams.

One thing Holder and UT are proud of is special – the UT Lady Vols are the only Division 1 school with its own logo for their women’s teams.

Holder is Lady Vols sports through and through. She began working with the late coach Pat Summitt in 2007, the same year she founded and ran Orange Mountain Designs in Alcoa. She sold sportswear focused on one team – the Lady Vols. Now the store is at 7240 Kingston Pike, Suite 192, in The Gallery Shopping Center. In 2022 Holder sold the store to Alumni Hall but remains a part-owner.

The Boost (Her) Club now has 800-plus members and Holder spends a lot of time working to recruit new members. “If you are a business, join us. If you’re a family, join us and help us work for these athletes. We want a wide spectrum of members,” she said. And the many perks for members are explained on their website.

Two members of our club and their businesses are corporate sponsors – Scott Brockamp and His Security and Technology Co. and PE Teri Jo Fox’s The KnoxFox Real Estate Group.

In response to a question, she said the club is also looking ahead to begin helping the girls on the cheerleading and dance teams.

If you are interested in becoming a member or in sponsorships, click on the website or call Holder at 865-414-6255 or Danielle Baird at 865-415-7000.

Tom King is a career journalist and a past president of the Rotary Club of Farragut, which meets each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Farragut Community Center, 239 Jamestown Blvd. If you want more information about Rotary or are interested in attending a meeting or joining, please email Tom or text him at 865-659-3562.


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