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Licensing program will allow MSU student-athletes to use logos, trademarks in NIL deals

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Michigan State is doing its best to embrace the new era of college athletics that allows student-athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.

On Friday, the university announced a partnership with The Brandr Group that will give student-athletes the opportunity to combine their name, image and likeness with Michigan State’s official trademarks and logos through participation in a group licensing program.

Michigan State student-athletes will have the opportunity to use the university's official logos and trademarks in NIL deals.

To date, players have not been allowed to use MSU logos and trademarks. But now they will be able to voluntarily opt into the group licensing program where they will be able to be marketed in groups of three or more from any one specific sport or six or more from multiple sports in combination with university trademarks.

Participation in the program does not restrict the student-athlete’s individual NIL rights, as they will still be permitted to enter agreements outside of the program.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Spartan student-athletes to combine their name, image and likeness with Michigan State trademarks and logos,” Michigan State executive AD/external operations Paul Schager said in a statement. “NIL continues to evolve, but this is an opportunity for Michigan State Athletics to support its student-athletes as they navigate this new landscape.”

The Brandr Group will create, activate and manage the program and is responsible for securing sponsors and licensees to support the program and its participants.

“We are proud to collaborate with Michigan State University and to bring this program to an institution with such a stellar reputation in college athletics as well as for such a loyal, passionate fan base,” The Brandr Group CEO Wesley Haynes said in a statement. “This is a great step for Michigan State University to create for their student-athletes and to provide a viable path for cobranding. No doubt, this will be beneficial for all of their student-athletes who opt into the program.”

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau