Michigan State Selects A Presenting Sponsor
Rocket Mortgage will now be the presenting sponsor of Michigan State basketball, but what does this mean for the future of college athletics?
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As if the financial exploitation of premier college athletics wasn’t clear enough, yesterday was certainly another step in that direction.
What am I talking about?
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage will now be the presenting sponsor of Michigan State’s basketball team, which will be known throughout their home arena as “MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.”
That’s absolutely wild.
Here are the details:
Rocket Mortgage will receive “highly-visible” TV-branding throughout the Breslin Center and Spartan stadium.
Rocket Mortage logos will be seen in multiple static and digital placements throughout Michigan State facilities, including team benches, clipboards, and even on head football coach Mel Tucker’s headset.
Rocket Mortgage will also have a notable radio programming presence for Michigan State men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football, and hockey games.
The deal is expected to be multi-million-dollars in value.
While most arguments for not properly compensating college athletes revolve around inferior schools that don’t command significant advertising or media-related revenue, with Michigan State, that’s not the case.
Michigan State’s athletic department brought in more than $140 million last year. They routinely churn out first-round NBA draft picks. They are expected to compete for a national championship each season.
Simply put, this isn’t some DIII school profiting off a $10,000 sponsorship deal.
This is Michigan State.
The debate between paying college athletes can go on forever, and truthfully, there are positives and negatives to both sides. I can admit that.
But here’s how I think about it…
In a country that allows a free market to decide monetary value on everything from your job compensation to the amount of money you pay for a coffee, why don’t we allow it for college athletics?
Don’t get me wrong; scholarships are certainly useful. Still, it doesn’t take a genius to realize premier players on Michigan State’s basketball team, some of which will be making millions of dollars within months, are receiving the short end of the stick.
Allowing athletes the ability to profit off their name, image, and likeness is the first step. But the schools that really cater their services to empower athletes by assisting in the construction of their brand image will be the real winners.
All college athletes will soon be asking: “How can you help me build my brand?”
Furthermore, here’s the part no one is talking about…
Mat Ishbia, a former Michigan State basketball player and now CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, donated $32M to Michigan State’s athletic department last month.
The interesting part?
Given that Rocket Mortgage is his companies largest competitor, he can’t be happy.
I hope everyone has a great weekend, and we’ll talk on Monday.
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