M Den to sell jerseys with UM player names
By Jacob Munn
August 12, 2021
Photo Credit: The Michigan Daily
In a new era of college sports, the M Den, the official retailer of Michigan athletics, announced it is partnering with UM football players to sell jerseys with players’ names on the back. This announcement follows the NCAA Division I Board of Directors decision to allow athletes the opportunity to make money through their name, image, and likeness (NIL).
The partnership between the M Den and UM football players results from a loophole around a university policy prohibiting officially licensed products to be sold with player names. To work around this policy, the M Den uses Nike and Jordan’s custom jersey option, which allows customers to select a customized jersey from a list of players. Customers are first given the option to select a position, like “QB,” then choose a player from a dropdown menu such as “9 McCarthy.”
Scott Hirth, the owner of the M Den, did not provide an exact amount the players will make from jersey sales, but he did note that it would be more than $10 per jersey. Hirth added that he expects the M Den to expand the jersey program to include men’s and women’s basketball next.
While the customized jersey option is necessary to align with university policies, this loophole may not be the long term solution. The loose framework and changing nature of the NIL policies could eventually allow officially licensed products to be sold with player names.
This would allow the M Den or other merchandise retailers to sell jerseys with player names as non-customized items.
The M Den capitalizing on the NCAA’s new NIL policy could be only the beginning.
As other schools follow UM’s footsteps and new ideas are explored, there are endless possibilities for athletes to benefit from their name, image, and likeness.