Success With Honor is a Name, Image and Likeness group dedicated to all 850 athletes and 31 varsity sports at Penn State.
The CEO is Mark Toniatti. Toniatti is on the Board of Trustees, along with Ira Lubert, Bob Poole, Anthony Mistano and Larry Cusack, all Penn State graduates. The Advisory Board consists of former Penn State athletes LaVar Arrington, Calvin Booth, Kelsey Amy, Todd Blackledge, Chris Bevilacqua, Grant Ahmet, Ben Bouma, Negan Hodge, Marcus Robinson, Lisa Salters, Susan Schandel, Linsey Shea and David Taylor.
85 to 90 percent of profits go to student-athletes, and the rest go toward expenses for running the day-to-day operations, which Student Athletes Empowerment CEO Jason Belzer is in charge of
Nittany Sports Now had an opportunity to speak with Toniatti about Success With Honor’s future growth and NIL in general.
“College sports are changing,” Toniatti said. “And for those who don’t like the change or are not comfortable with the change, they need to realize it has changed in your university. For Penn State to compete (alums) are going to have to be successful in supporting the athletes at the university.”
Toniatti mentioned that everybody involved with Success With Honor genuinely loves Penn State sports.
“Two years ago, they were fans of the university, and now they are stakeholders,” he said. “They have a vested interest, a very strong interest in the success of the university.”
Toniatti also spoke about his rapport with Penn State’s coaches and how they work together to ensure they are in the best position to succeed in the NIL era. It’s also essential, Toniatti said, to focus on what Penn State’s athletes need to make sure players are living up to their NIL deals.
“Because of the NIL, we started a little bit behind, but we understand those needs, and we try to react to those needs,” Toniatti said. “We know football at Penn State is a driver, and we will work with (head coach) James (Franklin), so he can get what he needs. We work directly with the players; we will find an opportunity for them to do something and then compensate them for that activity. We do not pay anybody any money until that function has been performed.”
Penn State has an extensive alum base in major east coast cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Toniatti mentioned the importance of using this base to help Success With Honor and communicating and educating people on the message.
“Penn State is a rural campus; we all know that,” Toniatti said. “The town of State College cannot compete with Los Angeles, especially with USC coming into the Big Ten. However, we have 750,000 alumni. We have the largest dues-paying alumni. Our biggest challenge is communication and education. Because once a Penn State alumnus understands the need of the student, they have always come through in the past.”
“The university had fundraisers and capital campaigns. I am very confident that they will come through here as well. With our opportunity to work with chambers of commerce and have our name be associated with being the preferred NIL of Penn State.”
Toniatti has communicated with Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. Clifford launched his agency, Limitless NIL, weeks after Success With Honor’s initial press release about his efforts of getting benefits and potentially unionizing college sports earlier in the summer.
Toniatti said he supports Clifford, who works with Success with Honor,
“Sean does work for us,” Toniatti said. “We have gotten him autograph sessions, and we have compensated him for the activities he has done for us.”
Overall, Toniatti made clear what the objective of Success With Honor is.
“The goal is the student-athlete; the goal is not just Success With Honor,” he said. “It is easy for us to say we are for the student-athlete because we are not making a dime off this. Everything goes to the student-athlete. We are not making money, where other collectives that are taking 10, 20, or 30 percent from the deals.”