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DFW Execs Launch NIL Initiative to Pay SMU Athletes

Plus: ECI Software Solutions acquires two Pennsylvania companies; Texas Capital Bank funds real estate lender Lendistry's Texas expansion; and more.
Bret Redman

Hunt Realty Investments CEO Chris Kleinert and Silver Hill Energy Partners CEO Kyle Miller have formed Boulevard Collective, a network of fans, former students, and businesses from the DFW region who will create personal branding opportunities to generate income for SMU student athletes through name, image, and likeness.

“This is just the beginning. The purpose of the Boulevard Collective is to create opportunities for SMU athletes that enhance their athletic career, while preparing them for wherever their professional aspirations might take them at SMU and beyond,” Kleinert said. “Our goal is to ensure this collective becomes the gold standard for NIL efforts across the country.”

According to The Athletic, SMU football and men’s basketball players will receive a total of $3.5 million, or $36,000 each, from Boulevard Collective. Longtime compliance leader Chris Schoemann was named executive director of the Boulevard Collective.

“Chris’ background strategically positions him to lead and consult in this space,” said Miller. “We want to demonstrate to the University and its supporters we are a trusted ally helping to advance the mission and dreams of this school and its student-athletes.”

SMU was handed the “death penalty” in 1987 for illegally paying college athletes. But with the 2021 NIL ruling, Boulevard Collective is within guidelines. This NIL commitment sets SMU up with one of the most ambitious recruiting efforts in NCAA, but it’s not the first: Texas Tech launched a similar initiative recently, too.

“It’s clear the Boulevard Collective is initiating one of the most substantive, sustainable efforts nationwide,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence, whose company is supporting the collective with tax, education, and disclosure documentation. 

Lendistry Expands to Texas with $5 Million in Funding From Texas Capital Bank

Los Angeles-based Lendistry, a small business and commercial real estate lender, has partnered with Texas Capital Bank and received $5 million in funding as a result of the relationship. The partnership is focused on closing the equity gap in funding for small, minority, and underserved business owners and startups in Texas. Lendistry will also open its first Texas office to support these businesses. 

Lendistry’s previous efforts in Texas include Paycheck Protection Program loans and COVID relief funding for minority- and women-owned businesses. New Texas-wide financing opportunities will include access to up to $5 million in loans for startups, $1 million in loans for contractors, and $500,000 in loans for nonprofits. 

“As new businesses continue to open in record numbers, small business owners in Texas need responsible partners to make it easier to access capital. Contractors, startups, and nonprofits in particular have unique needs that call for a non-traditional approach,” Everett K. Sands, CEO of Lendistry, said. 

ECI Software Solutions Acquires Data Inventions and Lojic

ECI Software Solutions, a cloud-based technologies and industry-specific business software product and services company, has acquired two Pennsylvania-based companies, Data Inventions and Lojic, on behalf of its manufacturing division. Data Inventions is the maker of Alora, a machine intelligence platform, and produces other data manufacturing products, while Lojic is a data management company behind Lojic Dashboards, a customizable dashboard.

These acquisitions will further integrate Alora and Lojic Dashboards into ECI’s product portfolio and enable widespread adoption across ECI’s customer base. Combined, Alora and Lojic connect and analyze data from enterprise resource planning business systems.

“Manufacturers are still just learning how valuable data-driven business intelligence can be for their operations, and we believe the combination of the Data Inventions’ Alora and Lojic manufacturing intelligence platforms have the power to become ubiquitous in the industry,” Trevor Gruenewald, CEO of ECI, said. 

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

AECOM and National Medal of Honor Museum Partner

Arlington’s National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation has selected Dallas-based AECOM to lead site selection for the NMHMF’s National Monument in Washington D.C to commemorate the Medal of Honor and its recipients. A preferred site is expected to be announced within the next 10-12 months.

“We are thrilled to have AECOM as our trusted partner in developing this monument to America’s heroes,” said NMHMF President and CEO Chris Cassidy. “Washington, D.C. is home to many iconic sites, and—with AECOM’s support—I’m confident the National Medal of Honor Monument will soon join that list and serve as a place for all Americans to reflect on the values the Medal represents.”

Along with the monument, the Arlington museum— which will aim to preserve and tell the stories of Medal of Honor recipients—will open in 2024. 


Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…
Suzanne Crow

Suzanne Crow