MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Andy Grove grew up a Penn State fan his entire life, travelling to Happy Valley every weekend to cheer on the Nittany Lions. Now the Central Pennsylvania native has a chance to impact the team he’s loved for decades.

“We’ve been club seat owners for football games for a lot of years,” Grove said. “Penn State’s in our blood.”

Grove took that passion and turned it into action, looking to help the Penn State program find success in 2023. Through his business, Grove Financial & Associates, Grove has partnered with Penn State football players using NIL opportunities.

NIL stands for Name, Image and Likeness; college athletes are now able to participate in marketing for businesses, receive sponsorships and create mentorship relationships in their communities. Grove in now one of Penn State’s NIL partners and has already begun working with Penn State corner Johnny Dixon and Central York grad Beau Pribula.

“I liked the idea that I could mentor a young guy and have them represent our company,” Grove said. “We can use these relationships to impact the charities we work with, to impact our own team by having players talk about teamwork, and then also support Penn State University.”

Working with Penn State football was a natural fit for Grove’s business.

“When we sat down together, there are so many synergies between the Penn State program and what we’re trying to accomplish as a team in our insurance business,” Grove said.

He cites teamwork as one of the many crossovers his business has with a football program. Grove plans on having players speak to his employees about the lessons they learn on the field, teaching resilience, teamwork and perseverance.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere without my team,” Grove said. “I see myself as the coach of my team and we’re looking to build a better team, enhance our existing associates, and also bring in the best of the best if we can find them. That’s what Penn State is trying to do on a football team.”

NIL policy changed at the NCAA level in July 2021, so educating the Penn State community about these new opportunities has taken some time. Often that NIL information is spreading through word of mouth.

“I heard about NIL through the media,” Grove said. “I didn’t really understand a lot about it until there was a meeting here at West Shore Country Club. After that meeting, I ran into Beau [Pribula] out in the parking lot, and we [just] started chatting.”

That’s where someone like Joe Gazza comes into the equation, serving as an athlete advocate for Inch & Co. Sports, which represents the interests of some Penn State athletes, including Pribula.

“I think that there’s a stigma that [NIL] gives players some money in exchange for a couple deliverables,” Gazza said of the NIL criticism. “But I think when our athletes take to mentorship with a successful business over owner, like [Grove], they’re learning a ton of short-term and long-term skills that they remember a lot more [than the money].”

Gazza and Grove are working together to find unique ways to leverage the Penn State players brands to benefit Grove’s business. The pair are planning to use player appearances to benefit community initiatives in Central Pennsylvania. For example, a Penn State player could sign autographs at an food pantry drive, encouraging more fans to come donate food.

“Andy is a great person for us to work with because he understands how an opportunity like this can not just impact his business, but also the community,” Gazza said. “There is power in working with Andy and Grove Financial & Associates. Their commitment to Penn State and helping their players, coupled with finding creative ways to help his team, his community and different charities is what it’s all about.”

Grove Financial & Associates is a full-service insurance and financial firm serving Central Pennsylvania for over 25 years. The group has six offices in Beaver Springs, Chambersburg, Elliottsburg, Hanover, Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg.

Penn State Football fans will get closer than ever to the team this fall, as abc27 launches Nittany Insiders. Every Saturday, the preview show will break down Penn State’s matchup, feature player’s stories off the field, and focus on NIL progress.

The weekly preview show will be co-hosted by former NFL linebacker and Penn State All-American Michael Mauti and abc27 Sports Director Allie Berube.

Each week Allie and Michael will break down the week’s upcoming game and share what the Nittany Lions will need to focus on for a win. Michael will be able to provide a unique expert analysis from the perspective of a former player.

The show will also feature a player spotlight, features on Lettermen, and content highlighting the program’s NIL efforts to create the most comprehensive Penn State show in the state each and every week.

Nittany Insiders will air every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. starting Saturday, August 26th. The 30-minute shows will feature interviews and insight you can only see on abc27.

To sign up for the Nittany Insiders newsletter and other abc27 newsletters, fill out your email and hit the sign up button above.