Connecting the community
with student-athletes

How it works.

Friends of Rocky is a fan-driven and alumni-led Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) program for University of Toledo student-athletes, alumni, and fans. When you commit to Friends of Rocky, you’re committing to maximizing opportunities for student-athletes to build their brand and earn compensation. Plus you gain access to exclusive events, autograph sessions, and more.

Our team

Kevin Jansen
General Manager

Kevin's professional experience is split between marketing communications and operations, where he’s learned the importance of sound marketing strategies, strong support teams and comprehensive processes and systems. He has worked in a large organization and closely held private companies and he has seen that success follows when the right people are involved and in the right seats on the bus. Kevin was born and raised in Toledo and grew up as a Toledo Rocket fan and supporter. He is married to his wife, Allyson, and they are expecting their first children (twin girls) in October 2022.

John Hoover
General Manager

A retired marketing and business development executive, John has more than 30 years of experience managing high volume businesses and developing new business strategies. Prior to joining Friends of Rocky, Hoover worked at The Andersons, Inc. as the Director of Marketing and Business Development. He has a wealth of experience in e-commerce, CRM campaign management, corporate philanthropy and community capital fundraising. Hoover also serves as the Athletics Program Chair for Central Catholic High School’s Board of Directors, and is a member of the National Football Foundation Board, the Luken T. Boyle Campaign for Kindness Board and more. He holds a BSBA from Bowling Green State University and has also attended Wittenberg University and the University of Toledo. Hoover is married and has six children, two of whom played football at Duke University and the Ohio State University.


Here are the most common questions we receive about how individuals and companies can get involved with NIL opportunities with student-athletes.

What does Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) mean?

“NIL” is the term used to associate with student-athletes ability to earn money off their individual brand. As of July 1, 2021, student-athletes across the country can now profit off their name, image, and likeness. Prior to July 1st, 2021, a student-athlete could not monetize from creating a YouTube channel, hosting a camp, or selling a signed jersey. Now, for example, a student-athlete may earn money for:

  1. Hosting their own basketball, soccer, or other sports camp. 
  2. Partnering with and promoting a local restaurant or business.  
  3. Having a photoshoot and autograph session.

Is Friends of Rocky affiliated with the University of Toledo?

No. Friends of Rocky is a third-party organization, not affiliated with the University of Toledo. However, Friends of Rocky’s leadership is comprised, in part, by University of Toledo alumni dedicated to creating a program that exclusively benefits the student-athletes, fans, and businesses in the community.

I’d like to set up a meet and greet with a student-athlete, have a student-athlete coach my child, or get a personalized video. Are you able to assist with this?

Yes! If there is a custom opportunity you would like to create with a University of Toledo student-athlete, we will do our best to facilitate the engagement. You can either hire an athlete directly through the site using their profile or click here to submit your ideas and questions.

I am a business owner and would like to align my brand with the Friends of Rocky. How can I get more involved?

Friends of Rocky is always looking to add value to fans, student-athletes, and businesses in the Toledo community. Partnering with a local student-athlete can be a great extension of your brand and help expand your marketing. If you have ideas for partnership opportunities, please email John Hoover at

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