Boilermaker Alliance names growth strategist Neff as new CEO

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Dave Neff

The not-for-profit organization that helps Purdue University student-athletes use their name, image and likeness to boost charitable organizations has a new leader. Boilermaker Alliance Inc. on Tuesday announced Dave Neff as its new president and CEO.

Neff most recently served as chief growth officer for Indianapolis-based strategic growth firm Prolific. He previously was the CEO of Edge Mentoring in Carmel. He is also a member of the 2024 NBA All-Star Host Committee.

“Dave Neff’s leadership appointment opens a dynamic new chapter for Boilermaker Alliance,” Mark Carney, chairman of the Boilermaker Alliance board, said in a news release. “His broad experience in sports management and his track record of strategic leadership and brand development ideally positions us to uplift Purdue athletes in profound ways.”

The West Lafayette-based Boilermaker Alliance, founded in 2022, is not directly affiliated with Purdue University. In September of that year, the alliance announced it was expanding its services to all of the university’s scholarship student-athletes, in addition to the entire football and men’s basketball teams.

The not-for-profit works with student athletes who choose a charitable organization to support and helps them amplify those charities through special appearances, autograph signings, mentoring children, managing camps and clinics, and appearing at charity events.

Neff also previously held sports marketing roles at ExactTarget, now Salesforce, as well as sales positions with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which Boilermaker Alliance said makes him uniquely prepared to be CEO.

“I am deeply honored to step into this role and uphold and enrich the legacy of Purdue University and its remarkable student-athletes,” said Neff. “Together, we will build on the solid foundation laid by Boilermaker Alliance, fostering an environment where excellence, integrity, and community service are not just ideals, but everyday realities for our Purdue family.”

Boilermaker Alliance says it has helped facilitate more than 350 charitable NIL activities and engage Purdue student-athletes in more than 260 charitable public appearances since its inception.

Neff succeeds Jeff McKean, who stepped down to focus on his work as an attorney.

When the program’s expansion was announced, McKean told Inside INdiana Business that including student-athletes from all sports would allow Purdue to stand out from other universities that only focus on revenue sports when it comes to NIL.

“This is something, to our knowledge, that has not been done by any other group like us, but from the day we started, we recognized the importance of including all our athletes,” said McKean. “The athletes in the other sports bring so much to our university. We look at the Olympic athletes we’ve had…[they’re] great examples of what we want Purdue to be.”

The organization is steered by a 15-member volunteer board led by Carney, as well as an advisory board led by former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees.

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