Michigan partners with store to sell athletic apparel
Monday, July 19, 2021

(ANN ARBOR) - In what is believed to be the first deal of its kind, Michigan athletics official retail store, The M Den, announced on Saturday it is partnering with Wolverines football players to create custom jerseys to sell with the player's name and number on the back. In the past, retailers were prohibited from selling university jerseys with current player names on them. But with the recent passing of name, image and likeness (NIL) laws and rules, The M Den is now allowed to sell the jerseys as a customized product. The M Den President and Co-owner Scott Hirth says at this time, the only permission they have is to do this through their custom jersey program. At this time, the university does not allow officially licensed products to be sold directly with the player's name and number on it. However, the custom jersey option is a loophole around that rule that the university was happy to accommodate. Customers are able to go to the website, click a drop-down menu that lists positions and player names to choose from, and create a custom jersey for a Michigan football player. The M Den worked with former Michigan football player Jared Wangler, who started Valiant Management group, an NIL agency, to help secure contracts with the players. Wangler was on the team from 2014 to 2018, and he still knows most of the players on the roster. He says at this point, there are roughly 60 Michigan football players signed up, with more on the way. The deal will pay each player the same amount per jersey sold and will pay each player quarterly. If one player is more popular than another and sells more jerseys, he will make more money, but each player will have the opportunity to make the same amount per jersey. As of now, this is an exclusive partnership between The M Den and the Michigan student-athletes. They are not able to profit from any other jersey sales that aren't part of the Nike custom football jersey offering.