Dinkytown Athletes is a community of University of Minnesota athletics fans, alumni and supporters. Our organization was born as a result of recently passed NIL (name, image and likeness) legislation. NIL opens the doors for student athletes to promote themselves, and accept money in exchange for NIL approved activities.  As an NIL collective, our charter is to help student athletes navigate NIL opportunities and help our local business community and fan base with never before seen access to our U of MN athletes.


DTA’s mission is to support our U of M Athletes with top notch NIL opportunities allowing them to build their brand and showcase their talent on campus and beyond.


As a purpose driven organization, we will provide NIL Opportunities in partnership with businesses and organizations in the Twin Cities and Beyond. We will provide our SA’s with the tools to grow on campus as they hone their athletic craft.   Educational opportunities and Post-Graduation Opportunities are part of the equation as well.  We strive to keep our Gopher Student Athletes engaged in the U of M long after Graduation.
Contributing members who choose to invest in our Student Athletes, will have opportunities and experiences created especially for them. 

Our Team



Derek Burns is Co-Founder and President of Dinkytown Athletes.  He previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer and partner at Tierney in St. Paul, Minnesota.   Burns is a former Gopher football captain, multi-year letterwinner, and has a bachelor’s degree from the Carlson School of Management.  He holds a regular guest spot on the Gopher Gridiron Podcast providing technical analysis and breakdowns.  Derek’s skills include marketing, communication, and product campaign management.  Derek lives in Plymouth, Minnesota and spends time with his wife Kim exploring hiking trails in Minnesota. 



Robert Gag is Co-Founder and Vice President of Dinkytown Athletes.  Rob is responsible for business development, internal structure, and finance for Dinkytown Athletes.  Previously, Rob was CEO and partner at Tierney in St. Paul, MN.   Prior to his position as CEO, Rob held a variety of sales management positions throughout his 25 plus years with the company.   Rob is a lifelong Gopher Fan along with his family of five and is a long time resident of Stillwater, Minnesota.


By joining Dinkytown Athletes or with a one-time donation, you can help create NIL opportunities for our Minnesota athletes.

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