Much of the outward push that allowed college athletes to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness came from the cry of video games and jersey sales.
But when varsity athletes started cashing in on July 1, the money wasn’t coming from those two areas. In the absence of a group licensing deal, Electronic Arts would have to start signing player by player and with jersey sales it was thought that there would need to be an agreement between the school and the players which would solidify a partnership. commercial manifesto that schools would not be comfortable with.
Step inside The M Den, the University of Michigan’s officially licensed retailer that considers itself one of the nation’s largest licensed college stores. On Friday, The M Den tweeted that, for the first time, it was offering fans the right to get player names on the back of their Michigan soccer jerseys.
“Before the Ed O’Bannon case, we could write player numbers on the back,” said Mr. Den owner Scott Hirth. “When it was Denard Robinson, we could do No. 16 in store. After O’Bannon, we could only do No.1 and Year.
When Jim Harbaugh arrived to coach, Nike and The M Den started selling number 4, Harbaugh’s old number, but without his name on the back.
The deal is not with the school. It’s with The M Den.
“The University of Michigan is not a party to this agreement,” Michigan associate athletic director Dave Ablauf told The Action Network.
So far, 50 players from this year’s roster have signed deals and are available to order. Hirth said The M Den is supported by Valiant Management, a division of the Valiant brand, a line that was offered exclusively at The M Den. When the name, image, and likeness began, owners Jared and John Wangler, the latter of whom was a Michigan quarterback from 1976 to 1980, stepped in and helped The M Den aggregate player approval. for the license.
Each jersey must be individually personalized by ordering online or in store, which means that there will not be any particular player’s jerseys hanging from the rack. These jerseys will cost $ 120 for names and numbers to be ironed on and $ 180 for them to be sewn on.
In the past, it was assumed that if this happened, players would get 6% of the wholesale price of the jersey at best. In this case, that would be $ 3.60 or $ 5.40 based on wholesale costs of $ 60 and $ 90. But Hirth said The M Den wanted to do better.
Hirth did not disclose the exact percentage, but said each player will get the same percentage times the number of their shirts they sell. Each jersey will exceed $ 10.
“We wanted to do our best for these players,” said Hirth. “Yes, we are a for-profit company, but we are partners of the school. “
Hirth added that players would likely make more money per shirt than The M Den.
It remains to be seen if other retailers from other schools will follow, without school participation, but The M Den had it all.
It is an official reseller of the school, so it has the right to use the university marks with the names of the players. It is also an official Nike retailer, which means it has the right to take blank jerseys and customize them.
Having names available should increase jersey sales over previous limited options of a few numbers and no name on the back. Hirth noted that jersey sales were still strong despite a few lackluster seasons thanks to the addition of Harbaugh’s number and school shifting from Adidas to Nike and then to the Jordan brand.
It has been suggested that boosters guaranteeing the purchase of a player’s jersey would be a way of cheating. If it goes through the custom program rather than the rack, it would be next to impossible to do. If hundreds of orders came from one person for a player, The M Den, as the school’s partner, would likely notify the school of the order.
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