EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University athletes are taking advantage of the policy adopted by the NCAA in June that allows college players to be financially compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness.
MSU Federal Credit union is partnering with the MSU women's basketball team. MSUFCU has contracts with individual players and pays them directly for services such as social media posts and engagement, as well as in-person appearances to promote the company.
Junior forward Taiyier Parks said she feels "very blessed" for her ability to partner with an organization like MSUFCU.
"I’m glad that they’re taking a chance on us," Parks said. "And the opportunity to give back is exciting."
April Clobes, the CEO of MSUFCU, said the company has been a longtime supporter of MSU athletics, particularly the women's basketball team.
"When the opportunity arose to participate in the NIL agreements, we thought it was a natural alliance to begin our partnerships with the women’s basketball team," Clobes said.
The downtown East Lansing restaurant HopCat is partnering with MSU quarterback Payton Thorne, who now has a burger named after him at the restaurant.
Michele Ary, the brand manager for HopCat, said Thorne reached out to HopCat directly because it was one of his favorite restaurants.
“For us, I mean, we looked at this NIL partnership as the new influencer group," Ary said. "So instead of us talking about ourselves on social media, in recent years we've honed in and utilized social media influencers. And so we're utilizing Payton to help us speak about ourselves.”
While other students may work a part-time job or internship, Clobes said, the ability to pay and partner directly with players gives them an opportunity to earn money and gain job skills while still being an athlete.
And Parks said she enjoys the new platform the agreement allows her.
“It gives us a new opportunity to make a change in the community by reaching out to a larger base, especially with MSUFCU," Parks said.