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10 Michigan NIL Deals That Need to Happen

Last Updated: September 1, 2022
What’s in a name? Maybe millions. Boardroom plays matchmaker to find the perfect brand partner for 10 Michigan NIL athletes hoping to become the next Kool-Aid McKinstry.

What’s the best way to arrest the attention of a brand perusing the celebrity endorsement market? A series of deeply conceptual, Twyla Tharp-choreographed TikTok dances probably doesn’t hurt, but if you’re already directly associated with a brand name synonymous with decades of success, you’ve got a priceless advantage in your favor.

In college football, one of those brands is indisputably the University of Michigan Wolverines. And that makes the market for Michigan NIL deals a legitimately booming one.

Aided by three third-party Michigan NIL collectives — Champions Club, Stadium & Main, and Ann Arbor NIL Club — the football season arrives up north with a full-on athletics-industrial complex behind it. But of all the brand deals Maize and Blue athletes are signing in the name, image, and likeness era, none quite reaches the level of Alabama cornerback Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry’s deal with Kool-Aid or Nebraska receiver Decoldest Crawford’s pact with an air conditioning company, the top candidates for the title of most perfectly literal, sensical endorsement ever.

That got us thinking — who else on Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines roster could earn big-time dollars by leveraging something as simple as their name alone? Let Boardroom play matchmaker and propose 10 Michigan NIL deals that actually make too much sense.

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Michigan Football NIL Deals We Want to See

DB Damani Dent + MAACO Collision Repair
  • Class: Freshman
  • Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Why we picked MAACO: Your insurance is gonna cover it anyway
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Arkham Asylum
DB Gemon Green / DB German Green (twins!) + Weedmaps
  • Class: Graduate students
  • Hometown: Desoto, Texas
  • Why we chose Weedmaps: Our attorneys have advised us not to comment
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Green Giant, Evil Twin Brewing, Gemini crypto exchange
DB Jahre Fish + Red Lobster
  • Class: Graduate student
  • Hometown: Washington, DC
  • Why we chose Red Lobster: Honestly? The cheddar biscuits.
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Ghostface Killah
QB Alan Bowman + Hoyt Archery
  • Class: Graduate student
  • Hometown: Grapevine, Texas
  • Why we chose Hoyt Archery: A brand trusted by Olympians, Hoyt’s recurve bow is basically the Big Ten champion of legacy murder weapons
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Montreal Canadiens, Topps
DB Zeke Berry + Sambazon Açaí
  • Class: Freshman
  • Hometown: Pittsburg, California
  • Why we picked Sambazon: As a market leader in Açaí products, the consensus is that they are berry good
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: R.E.M.
TE Marlin Klein + Bass Pro Shops
  • Class: Freshman
  • Hometown: Cologne, Germany
  • Why we chose Bass Pro Shops: If the lure fits, attach it
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: The Finding Nemo franchise
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WR Jake Thaw + Prestone Antifreeze
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Westport, Connecticut
  • Why we picked Prestone: Have you BEEN to Ann Arbor???
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Gore-Tex
RB Isaiah Gash + Medtronic absorbable sutures
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Why we chose Medtronic: After he truck-sticks you, you might bleed out in, like, 40 seconds
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: We’re good, thanks
EDGE Nolan Knight + The Elder Scrolls franchise
  • Class: Senior
  • Hometown: Northville, Michigan
  • Why we picked Elder Scrolls: Because Elden Ring is WAY TOO FUCKING HARD
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Medieval Times
Nikhai Hill-Green + Scotts Turf Builder
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Why we chose Scotts: Vigoro Fertilizer is for Ohioans
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Greenhill & Co.
DB Jesse Madden + EA Sports
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Oakland, California
  • Why we chose EA Sports: Because it’s in the game, you dilettante
  • Other brand(s) we recommend: Good Charlotte
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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.