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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Anchor Impact Fund, Anchor Collective consolidate to form singular Vanderbilt NIL collective

Vanderbilt’s two major NIL collectives combined to form the Anchor Impact Fund last Thursday.
Geetika Komati
The Hawk at night, as photographed on April 11, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Geetika Komati)

Vanderbilt’s two main name, image and likeness (NIL) collectives — the Anchor Impact Fund and the Anchor Collective — combined forces last Thursday afternoon. The new merger will be known as the Anchor Impact Fund and will serve as the exclusive NIL collective associated with Vanderbilt Athletics.

“Since the founding of the Anchor Impact Fund, we have sought to create impactful name, image and likeness opportunities for student-athletes in a manner consistent with Vanderbilt’s emphasis on giving back to our community,” said Anchor Impact Fund executive director D’Juan Epps. “This consolidation will do that by providing more opportunities for our student-athletes. Further, having one single collective will provide clarity for Vanderbilt fans and donors who want to support this exciting effort.

The Anchor Collective, formed in December, was the first of its kind associated with Vanderbilt Athletics. According to its website, the collective’s main focus was “dedicated to enhancing the experience of Vanderbilt student-athletes by providing opportunities to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness, while never compromising integrity.”

The Collective initially signed football players AJ Swann, CJ Taylor and Will Sheppard to deals.

The Anchor Impact Fund, on the other hand, is focused on engaging Vanderbilt athletes with impactful local charity organizations. The Fund has signed dozens of athletes including Enrique Bradfield Jr., Ezra Manjon, Iyana Moore, Lynn Lim and more. According to its website, the merger allowed the Fund to absorb Swann, Taylor and Sheppard to its roster of student-athletes.

“We are committed to providing our student-athletes with EVERYTHING they need to have the best experience possible, including in NIL…this does just that!” Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee said of the newly formed Anchor Impact Fund in a tweet.

In the summer of 2021, the NCAA changed longstanding rules allowing student-athletes to profit off of their own name, image and likeness. In response, over 120 universities launched unaffiliated “collectives” to pool together NIL funds for student-athletes. With the creation of the new Anchor Impact Fund, Vanderbilt Athletics can begin to compete on the same playing field as many of their SEC peers in the NIL space.

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About the Contributors
Bryce Smith
Bryce Smith, Former Sports Editor
Bryce Smith ('23) is majoring in human and organizational development in Peabody College with a minor in business. Bryce previously wrote for SBNation before joining The Hustler. Hailing from Chicago, Bryce is a die-hard Bears and Cubs fan who is also hoping that the Bulls and Blackhawks may one day rekindle their dominance. He can be reached at [email protected].    
Geetika Komati
Geetika Komati, Staff Photographer
Geetika Komati ('26) is majoring in economics and music performance and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She is from Livingston, N.J. Geetika loves photographing sports games and getting in on the live action. Apart from the Hustler, some of Geetika's favorite things are traveling, boxing, and cheering on the New Jersey Devils. She can be reached at [email protected].
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