The Best is Ahead foundation announced
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — A new nonprofit foundation designed to help University of Maryland football players navigate NIL opportunities in community service and prepare for post-college careers was announced today.
The organization, dubbed The Best Is Ahead Foundation (TBIAF)stated that its mission is to create programs and initiatives in which Terrapin football players can inspire and enrich underserved youth in the Metoro area of Baltimore/Washington DC through acts of service, volunteerism and partnership.
TBIAF will serve as the NIL collective for University of Maryland football players and is supported by donors including philanthropist Kevin Plank, the founder and executive chairman of Baltimore-based sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, and former football player. Maryland soccer.
In July 2021, the NCAA announced a new policy that allows student-athletes from all three NCAA divisions to monetize the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL). Thus, companies can enter into sponsorship agreements with players and compensate them for activities such as appearances in events, posts on social networks, advertisements, etc.
TBIAF differentiates itself by establishing a 501(c)(3) which aims to provide benefits to nonprofit organizations. Student-athletes will leverage their name, image and likeness to promote and benefit these charities, bringing increased visibility and participation that otherwise would not have existed. The TBIAF will also encourage the education of student-athletes in the areas of financial literacy, wealth management and entrepreneurship.
TBIAF will be led by Maryland businessmen Jeff Leventhal and former professional football player Dan Crowley. Leventhal’s career spans 27 years as a successful wealth manager for high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and business professionals in the Baltimore/Washington, DC metro area. Crowley has served for the past 11 years as the main administrator for Towson University Athletics. He also played nine seasons in the Canadian Football League with teams in Baltimore, Montreal, Edmonton and Ottawa (Ontario). Both men were born and raised in the metro area and are passionate about football and Maryland athletics.
“The TBIAF was born out of the desire to achieve two fundamental objectives,” said Leventhal. “The first is to help Maryland football players with NIL opportunities. The second is to help athletes meet the needs of their community in a positive, consequential, and constructive way.”
Crowley added: “The simple fact is that the NIL opportunities for college players aren’t even remotely the same as those who reach the National Football League, and only a small percentage of college players turn professional. We want to help players who don’t go that far to understand how to make the most of their college years and how to prepare for life after football.”
Regarding their first goal, Leventhal and Crowley said the TBIAF will focus on involving Terrapin players in four levels of programs and community initiatives:
- Armed violence education.
- Mental health awareness.
- Drug and alcohol prevention.
- Literacy programs.
“Playing football in Maryland has opened so many doors for me beyond the field,” Plank said. “I am proud to support The Foundation The best is ahead, not only because it will help players navigate the new world of NIL, but because it focuses on teaching players that there is much more to life than football. Community involvement should be high on their priority list.”
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BEST IS AHEAD FOUNDATION
The mission of the Best Is Ahead Foundation (TBIAF) is to partner with University of Maryland football players to work with the youth of our community to build a better future. As a registered 501c3, we are committed to raising funds that focus on community service initiatives for University of Maryland football players. TBIAF was founded with the goal of serving underprivileged youth in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. metro areas while focusing on four key initiatives while using the name, image and likeness of University of Maryland. The four building blocks of our purpose are combating gun violence, reducing drug and alcohol addiction, raising mental health awareness, and improving literacy within the community.