Michigan State basketball will continue its sponsorship contract with Rocket Mortgage, but will not change the name accordingly. After the deal was announced on Thursday, the school announced in a press release that in addition to being a five-year contract, the team “will now be known throughout the Breslin Center as” MSU Spartans Brought to you by Rocket Mortgage “”.
But on Friday, the Spartans released a statement clarifying that the team will not actually change their name and that, in fact, this deal is very normal.
In response to the announcement, a wave of criticism developed towards the Spartans and the college athletics “industry” in general. One of the more notable critics included Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). The congressman recently introduced legislation allowing college athletes to earn money from their names, pictures and likenesses.
The very normal deal will begin in the 2021-2022 sports season and will include “considerable branding for Rocket Mortgage throughout Breslin Center and Spartan Stadium.” Much of the connection is down to how former student Dan Gilbert – better known as owner of The Cavaliers and avid Comic Sans – is the co-founder of Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage. Gilbert is also the namesake of the Gilbert Pavilion at the Breslin Center.