Michigan Football Setting The Pace, Cashing In On Name And Likeness

The University of Michigan looks to set the pace as their athletes cash in on the new name, image, and likeness agreement.

It’s one of those agreements that has been long overdue, but finally, college athletes will be able to earn money on their name and likeness. Michigan football is the first to sign a deal with M Den as they partner to sell jerseys, with players earning a profit on their jersey sales.

In the past, retailers were banned from selling university merchandise with a current player’s name and number attached to it. For example, while attending school, a Denard Robinson jersey would be a Wolverines number 16 jersey until Robinson was no longer a college athlete.  After that, companies could print Robinson Michigan football jerseys with the name and number.

Michigan Football Breaks Ground With Name & Likeness Agreement.

It’s explained here in an article published by ESPN;

“Right this minute, the only permission we have is to do this through our custom jersey program,” The M Den president and co-owner Scott Hirth said. “We could print any of the other 10 billion people on the planet with their name and number on the planet, except for the current players two weeks ago. So, the only thing that changed is now we can add to the 10 billion people on the planet, the 130 players on the team. We don’t have the ability to make 1,000 of those for player X and make that a stock program. That doesn’t mean next Tuesday we can’t do that, but right now, that’s what we can do.”

What Does This Mean For Michigan Football & Other Student-Athletes??

Also, if you are or had been a gamer, you will recall that in EA Sport’s NCAA football games. The players were identified just by a number and not a name. In the game’s eventual reboot, the college football rosters will be updated with each player’s name and information similar to the Madden series.

The university does not directly sell officially licensed products with current players’ names and numbers attached, but retailers can produce ‘custom’ merchandise upon request.  That’s a loophole the university is allowing to take place.

The deal between Michigan football and M Den will pay each player the same amount per jersey sold. As expected, the more popular players will earn more money overall but on volume, not fame. It’s an exclusive partnership between M Den and Michigan football, meaning players are not permitted to earn income on any other jersey style sold other than the Nike custom they currently wear.

Michigan is not allowing student-athletes to make money on any of the school’s trademarks or block M logo. It’s been referred to as a raw deal, and the rules are changing almost daily. Things may change in the future, but most schools seem to be taking a similar route.

Michigan Football Odds.

According to BetMGM, the Wolverines are 51.00 to win the 2024 National Championship outright.

About the Author

Bob Heyrman

Bob's writing is comparable to the third starter in a rotation. Sometimes he throws junk that finds the barrel of the bat and gets smacked over the fence, but the odd time he can toss a complete game shutout. Bob is an avid lifelong Detroit sports fan. Bob loves the city and can often be found downtown taking in a sporting event or a cold beverage at a local watering hole.