Here’s why the Utah Utes football players’ NIL club looks a lot like BYU’s

The company is called YOKE, and it is behind NIL clubs for college athletics programs throughout the country.

(Hunter Dyke | Utah Athletics) Utah running backs Tavion Thomas and Jaylon Glover talk during Utah Utes football camp in Salt Lake City on Aug. 09, 2022.

The relaxing of name, image and likeness rules in college athletics has led to a free-for-all of sorts across the country. Program after program is finding ways to make partnerships that get its athletes some cash, and athletes themselves have made themselves open for business.

On Tuesday, another venture launched in Utah by way of the Salt Lake NIL Club. Fans of the Utes can pay for an exclusive online community, digital meet-and-greets with players and more. A similar venture launched nearly two weeks ago for BYU called the Provo NIL Club.

The Salt Lake Club has a monetary goal of $50,000, while the Provo version’s is $10,000. Both clubs are run by a company called YOKE, which has also launched NIL ventures in several college football cities such as Baton Rouge, La., Norman, Okla., and Austin, Texas.

But what exactly is YOKE, and why has it gotten into the NIL business? Here are some answers to questions fans may have.

What is YOKE?

A business that specializes in creating websites and digital communities. It specializes in the NIL space. It promises members “unparalleled access to the players” on the teams they support, per the company’s website.

How much does it cost?

YOKE says members can give “what you can” per month and that will give them complete access to the NIL club’s features. If fans give at least $25 per month, however, they receive a free jersey. The company’s website also says the minimum monthly contribution is $5 per month.

Does YOKE take a percentage?

Yes. The company’s platform fee is currently 18%, which is down from 25%. Mick Assaf, the co-founder of YOKE, told The Salt Lake Tribune recently that the platform fee is temporary.

What do the players do?

They promote their respective NIL clubs through their social media platforms. They also participate in digital meet-and-greets, question-and-answer sessions and interviews, and create exclusive content for paying members. Profits are split equally among participating players at the end of the each month, per YOKE’s website.