Michigan State basketball will continue its sponsorship deal with Rocket Mortgage, but will not be changing its name as a result. After the deal was announced Thursday, the school announced in a press release that along with it being a five-year contract, the team “will now be known throughout the Breslin Center as, ‘MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.”http://www.cbssports.com/”
But on Friday, the Spartans released a statement clarifying that the team would not actually be changing its name and that, actually, this deal is very normal.
In response to the announcement, a wave of criticism grew towards the Spartans and the “industry” of college athletics in general. One of the more notable critics included Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). The congressman has recently introduced legislation allowing college athletes to make money from their names, images and likenesses.
The very normal deal will begin during the 2021-22 athletic season and will include “considerable branding for Rocket Mortgage throughout the Breslin Center and Spartan Stadium.” The connection is due in large part to how alumnus Dan Gilbert — best known as the Cavaliers owner and Comic Sans aficionado — is the co-founder of Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage. Gilbert is also the namesake of The Gilbert Pavilion at the Breslin Center.