| NEWS New Alabama Always program lets ex-players and more use Tide brand for NIL - AL.com


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Alabama athletics announced a new program that will allow former Crimson Tide players, coaches and “other individuals” to use UA’s logos and brand in conjunction with their own name, image and likeness for the rest of their lives. Former Alabama football player and athletics director Bill Battle was the first member of the new Alabama Always program.

Football head coach Nick Saban praised the new initiative in a UA press release.

“As I’ve said before, our players aren’t just my guys for three years, four years or five years,” Saban said. “They’re my guys forever. Alabama Always is a tangible way to show our former student-athletes how much we care about them and want them to feel part of the legacy they helped create at the University of Alabama.”

The program is available for former athletes from every Crimson Tide sport to opt in. According to the release, all of each participants royalties will go directly to them, as Alabama Always is managed by the university.

Battle, who moved on from his role as athletics director to found the Collegiate Licensing Company, was also quoted in the release.

“I’m extremely honored to be chosen as the first official member of Alabama Always,” Battle said. As someone who was a student-athlete, coach, business executive and athletic director, I’ve had a front row seat to the transformation of collegiate athletics. The Alabama Always initiative is revolutionary and timely in the new world of NIL, while also honoring those who have achieved so much throughout our history.”

The program will include 50th anniversary gear, including jerseys, for the 1973 football national championship team, which will be available for purchase during the weekend of Alabama’s Nov. 4 game against LSU. According to the release, that will be the first of many releases centered around major anniversaries, award winners and more.

In addition to Battle, Alabama football alums who have opted in according to the release include Dont’a Hightower, Marcell Dareus, Reggie Ragland, Johnny Musso, Sylvester Croom, Dwight Stephenson and Courtney Upshaw. Participants from other sports include the likes of Herb Jones (basketball), Haylie McCleney (softball) and Ashley Johnson (gymnastics).

“The creation of the Alabama Always program is another example of the commitment and care we have for our student-athletes,” UA athletics director Greg Byrne said in the release.. “We are excited to offer the opportunity for all of our former players across all sports to co-brand their NIL with the Alabama brand for the rest of their lives, while also creating a way for our fans to support them long after they leave campus. So many exceptional student-athletes have become legends over the 130-plus year history of our athletics program, and they will forever be members of the Crimson Tide family.”
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