COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Name, image and likeness. Three words that have been thrown around a lot this year. Most of the time it’s been associated with just athletes being paid.
But in Columbus, there is a foundation that is doing something a little different regarding NIL. It’s connecting athletes with charities, providing the ultimate win-win for all.
Marvin Harrison Jr. is used to making an impact on the field. Soon, he hopes to make an impact off of it as well.
“Athletes kind of have the most influence in the world today, especially with social media and things like Instagram and Twitter,” said Harrison Jr. “Kind of have the opportunity to highlight some of the people that do great things and great causes for the community.”
For Harrison Jr., that cause is the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. A partnership forged by the Cohesion Foundation, which has already connected 50 Buckeye athletes in 16 different sports to charities, big and small.
“We want to charitable purpose in everything that we do. So, we connect athletes to local charities, such as the Ronald McDonald House to make a maximum impact,” said Gary Marcinick, founder of the Cohesion Foundation and a former OSU student-athlete himself.
“This whole NIL partnership is going to be good for student-athletes. I think it’s going to give them the opportunity to get out in the community and make a difference,” said Dee Anders, CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio.
The hope is Harrison Jr.’s involvement will bring more awareness and donations to the House, at a time when it is expanding too.
“We are doubling the size of the house, which talks to the need of our charity in the community. We are supporting our medical partners in this community and it’s very important for us so, it couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Anders.
And the time is now, as student-athletes learn to navigate this NIL space in a way that benefits them and others.
“People kind of get caught up in the money and the money you can make as an athlete in college but it’s way bigger than football or anything like that. To be able to give back to the community and kind of shine a light on good things is really important,” said Harrison Jr.
“I really think that we have built the gold standard. This went from being an aspiration a year ago to a reality where we have started it, we have done agreements with athletes, and we are now impacting several local charities. That is the way, we think, brings the most good feelings and benefit to the NIL space,” said Marcinick.
In the next few months, expect to see Harrison Jr. appearing in public service announcements, social media posts and public appearances to bring awareness to the numerous campaigns for the Ronald McDonald House, including its Roundup campaign, which is nationwide.
Cohesion Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that accepts tax-deductible donations. For more information about Cohesion, head to https://www.cohesionfoundation.com/. And for more information about Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio, head to https://rmhc-centralohio.org/