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Day Off Social campaign launches today in Illinois

A group of 100 student athletes at the University of Illinois will enjoy a day off social media as part of a mental health campaign sponsored by the Illini Guardians donor collective, and produced by Coyle Media.

Operating under the NCAA’s new Name Image Likeness rules, the Illini Guardians will contribute funds for each participating student athlete. This is the first-of-it-kind NIL campaign designed expressly to protect and promote mental health.

#DayOffSocial is inspired by Name Image Likeness (NIL), a new phenomenon in college sports that allows student athletes to promote or endorse products in exchange for cash or other compensation. Rather than promoting a product, however, #DayOffSocial invites student athletes to unplug for a day and use their influence to help address a social crisis: the plummeting mental health of college students and their Gen Z peers.

Who needs a day off social?

Like all college students, student athletes are dealing with unprecedented levels of stress. Pressure to perform in the classroom, on the playing field and now on social media can cause anxiety and depression. Research indicates that 1 in 4 college students has a mental illness, which can include anxiety, depression and other afflictions that can be caused by social media. Taking a day off from social media can be restorative for the student athletes and set a good example for their peers across campus.

Over 500 student athletes compete in intercollegiate sports at the University of Illinois, and at least one student athlete from every intercollegiate sport will participate in Day Off Social thanks to the Illini Guardians.

“We are motivated by the desire to create a pillar of strength for the Illini student-athlete,” says Louis Margaglione, a founding member of the Illini Guardians. “We are investing in the Day Off Social campaign because it helps us in our mission to provide opportunities for young people to give back to their communities, to financially benefit from their skills, talents and unending work ethic, and to position them for opportunity and success that will stretch far into their own alumni years.”

“We want to thank the Illini Guardians for their generous and pioneering support for Day Off Social” said Pat Coyle, DOS program director and CEO of Coyle Media. “We know the Illini student athletes will benefit from this effort, and we’re hoping their example will inspire others to engage in the future.”

Several other D1 schools are planning to launch Day Off Social / NIL events in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. For more information contact

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