Before this past March, Liam Clifford and his older brother, Sean, already had a neat sibling bond.
The brothers, four years apart, became teammates at one of college football’s most prominent programs, Penn State, in 2021, with Sean as the team’s starting quarterback and Liam as a young receiver.
The singular “athlete” referred to there is Sean Clifford, who is the agency’s head honcho.
His formal title is CEO and founder.
Brother Liam also plays a significant part.
“Chief of Development, that’s my formal role,” Liam Clifford told reporters at Penn State’s second-year player media availability Wednesday afternoon. “But, I mean, we’ve been working on that together for a while. Just tag-teaming it. That’s been so much fun. I could talk about that forever.
The Clifford’s have talked to a wide range of people in their effort to grow “Limitless,” from CEOs to interns just trying to get their foot in the door.
NIL, an acronym for “name, image and likeness,” has become, in the words of Ron Burgundy, “kind of a big deal.”
Everybody who follows college sports knows what it is and knows that college athletes can significantly benefit from it financially.
What people might not think about, however, is how NIL can help athletes in everyday life regardless of money.
“It’s all education-based,” Liam Clifford said. “We want every athlete we sign to leave a better person than they came. So not only do we want to bring them in deals and bring them in money; that’s obviously extra, but we want them to learn, and we want them to learn about financial literacy.”
“The same way I’ve been learning, I want the athletes to learn as well.”
The agency’s clients include;
Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State safety
Myles Dread, Penn State men’s basketball player
Ishaan Jagiasi, Penn State men’s basketball player
Anna Camden, Penn State women’s basketball player
Jaylin Marshall, Georgia Tech defensive back
Brenden Bates, Kentucky tight end.
An example of how athletes can benefit from agencies such as “Limitless” is Brown, who partnered with a Snap Custom Pizza in State College.
Liam Clifford said that the man responsible for pitching the agency to clients is Anease Hawkins, a former Penn State defensive lineman, and the agency’s Chief Athlete Officer.
Once that pitch is accepted, the clients begin to work with the agency to learn how to benefit from NIL. That’s a skill Liam Clifford doesn’t feel anybody has mastered yet, what with NIL itself still in its infancy.
“Nobody’s an expert at NIL,” Liam Clifford said. “They can say it as much as they want; nobody is. I think we have a very good understanding of it because we’ve been through it. We’ve doven into this NIL space for the last few months very heavily. So I would say it’s more of just a learning experience.”
“I think things are changing. I think, especially in the NIL space, it’s new. It is all college kids that are dealing with NIL, so who’s better to do it than college students?”
Liam Clifford isn’t concerned about anybody thinking that he or his older brother are too young to operate a business.
They know what college athletes are looking for and, as a result, can help answer questions from anybody who wants to be involved in any facet.
“Whatever questions they have, I think we have the answer for,” Liam Clifford said, “at least for the most part. Again, like I said, nobody’s an expert, but I do think that we’re the closest you can get to being an expert in that space.”
Did Liam Clifford ever think that, after just one year of college, he’d be talking business with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies?
“To be honest, no,” he said with a laugh. “I never would have thought that. But I’m just fortunate to be able to now. I think it’s been really cool. It’s been a cool experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve had so much fun in the last few months working on this. Especially doing it with my brother. It’s been awesome.