SIOUX CITY, IOWA (KCAU) – In August, Briar Cliff athletics announced its partnership with “LnUP”, an NIL platform geared to support student-athletes who pursue name, image and likeness opportunities. Pierce Miller became the first Briar Cliff football player to be offered an NIL deal, and built a connection to a local business through a passion outside of sports.
“We decided we wanted to do something that was closer to my hobbies and growing up in Montana I loved being outside,” Briar Cliff sophomore defensive tackle Pierce Miller said.
A passion for football is in Pierce Miller’s nature, along with nature itself. So when the Charger connected with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Siouxland as part of his NIL deal of giving back to the community, Stone State Park was his inspiration.
“We decided to come out here so that maybe I could show the kids the area that maybe not all of them have seen and just showcase my love for it and teach them something,” Miller said.
Shifting from the grind of the gridiron to the stillness of a stream, Miller would share that knowledge leading an hour-long nature hike with a group of BGC Siouxland kids. Expressing his passion for the outdoors and creating an experience to get in touch with the Earth that kids don’t get often.
“We really look for opportunities that kids don’t have access to on a day-to-day basis, so this was just a perfect partnership where we can bring someone who has an expertise in something we might not have on staff where they can provide some intel and some knowledge,” Resource Development Director Kevin Pottebaum said.
And having that outreach means as much to Miller as it does to the community. Thinking back on the high school and college players who’ve helped him in the past and wanting to make that same impression.
“It always inspired me and I actually gained my love of football through that way,” Miller said.
“I wanted him to be able to give back and really Pierce wanted to be able to give back and as we continue to develop this and get more and more guys involved that’s kind of the blueprint that we wanted,” Briar Cliff football head coach Shane LaDage said.
As of now, this is the only walk Miller and the club have planned. But having a lifelong passion for nature and a continued interest to share the beauty of the Earth with others, Pierce says he’d do this all over again for free.
“Playing football I know I have a lot of young kids that look up to me. I want to be able to help them maybe find something that they didn’t know they loved and this is a way I think I can inspire them,” Miller said.
And while Miller continues to build his brand with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Siouxland, he looks forward to that next nature hike. Blazing a trail for Charger football in the new world of NIL within college athletics.
“I’m excited to hopefully continue to push our brand out and ultimately help the community. Pierce has gone above and beyond and exceeded all expectations with it,” LaDage said.