Football players and basketball players for the Michigan State Spartans during the 2021-2022 school year have struck a significant name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with United Wholesale Mortgage.
The company, led by president and CEO — and former Michigan State walk-on basketball player —Mat Ishbia, is paying monthly stipends to all 133 student-athletes between the football and men’s basketball teams, including walk-ons. Each athlete will receive $500 per month for a full year, which equals out to $6,000 per player or $798,000 total.
This deal was announced on Wednesday morning, but hinted toward on Tuesday night by several MSU players on their social media accounts.
“The Spartan family sticks together, and that’s what makes MSU athletics so special,” Ishbia said in a press release. “Each player contributes to the team in a positive way and we’re excited to help support them, while also helping educate consumers about the benefits of independent mortgage brokers.”
Ishbia also pledged a record $32 million to the Michigan State athletics department in February. The stipends for athletes is a separate deal, however. UWM also employs several former Spartans, including Ishbia’s teammates on MSU’s 2000 national championship-winning basketball team, Mateen Cleaves and Charlie Bell.
In a separate NIL deal, Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery in East Lansing recently announced that it is sponsoring the Michigan State football team’s offensive line and long snappers. Things are moving quickly in the era of college athletics.