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Rutgers announces hiring of Reed Zak as NIL GM



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

On Thursday, Rutgers Athletics continued to demonstrate a commitment toward name, image and likeness opportunities for its student-athletes. The department announced the hiring of Reed Zak to serve as General Manager to oversee efforts towards NIL at Rutgers.

The newly created position was announced in May. The search was conducted with Altius Sports Partners (ASP) who will also “train, assist, and oversee the newly created on-campus NIL GM at Rutgers.”

“We are delighted to welcome Reed aboard,” said Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs. “He is part of our continuing efforts to ensure that our student athletes have every opportunity to benefit from their name, image and likeness. With so many potential partners in the New York Metropolitan area, it was important to have someone focused every day on promoting Rutgers Athletics and the incredible student-athletes who compete for us.”

“As a New Jersey native, it’s an honor and privilege for me to work alongside Rutgers Athletics,” stated Zak. “The tri-state region offers abundant NIL opportunities for Scarlet Knight student-athletes, and the entire Rutgers team acknowledges the advantage this provides in maintaining competitiveness within the Big Ten. Drawing from my background as a student-athlete with professional experience in corporate partnerships, I understand how to connect athletes and brands. I’m excited to utilize Altius’s resources to enhance the services accessible to all Rutgers stakeholders.”

Zak previously worked for two years as sales manager with REVELxp. He oversaw hospitality sales at Colorado State, Arizona State and Air Force home football games. Zak set records at CSU and ASU in selling the most tailgate packages sold in a single season. Zak also worked with Learfield IMG College in partnership services at Providence College. He was responsible for contract fulfillment and the implementation of sponsorships across several accounts.

He is a native of New Jersey and earned his bachelor’s degree from Monmouth in business administration with a concentration in marketing and management/decision sciences. Zak also has an MBA from Providence. He worked as a graduate assistant in the marketing department with Providence Athletics and worked on promotions for men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s ice hockey.

Per the press release:

“The ASP GM Program, which launched in July 2022, centralizes support services for NIL, creating a distinct standalone vertical within athletics departments. Rutgers is one of 13 schools, participating in thisprogram.ASP personnel, stationed on campus, offer customized education and guidance on national issues related to NIL, ensuring student-athletes have the best opportunities. ASP prioritizes the development of student-athlete NIL and seeks to collaborate with institutional partners and university supporters. As the GM Program expands, ASP will continue to offer advisory support to all school partners.”

This is obviously a positive move by Rutgers athletics in providing full-time resources to hire a dedicated GM to push NIL efforts forward. It’s a crucial part of both recruiting and retention in college athletics today. By creating an NIL GM, Rutgers is sending a positive message to both its current student-athletes and recruits. The athletic department is committed to helping its student-athletes in regard to NIL opportunities. Zak will have the task of helping to facilitate NIL relationships for Rutgers student-athletes both now and in the future.

Rutgers announced a partnership with NIL store in June as well.

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