United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) in Pontiac today announced it is offering sponsorships to all Michigan State University student athletes on the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, and will continue its sponsorship of the men’s basketball and football teams for the 2022-2023 season.
Whether a star player or a walk-on, the sponsorship will provide all athletes up to $700 per month for the full year pending the completion of social media promotional posts assigned by UWM.
The posts will be pushed out on athletes’ social accounts, and will focus on the benefits of working with an independent mortgage broker, in addition to the career opportunities available at UWM’s headquarters.
“The NIL deals we made last year with MSU’s men’s basketball and football players was one of the first and largest deals at the time,” says Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of UWM and a Michigan State graduate. “We wanted to get our feet wet and test it out, and we’re happy we did as the success has been more than expected.
“We’re excited to expand this opportunity to all of the athletes on the women’s basketball and volleyball teams and are eager to see the influence they have on educating consumers about career opportunities at UWM and the benefits of working with an independent mortgage broker.”
Ishbia is a former walk-on Michigan State basketball player on the 2000 national championship winning team. He says his experience with MSU athletics helped shape the team-focused business approach and leadership style that UWM has today, including the belief that everyone has an important role to play, regardless of what position they hold.
Because of this mindset, Ishbia and the UWM team say they felt it was important that every single player on the women’s volleyball and basketball teams in addition to the men’s football and basketball teams be included in the NIL deal.
UWM currently employs several former MSU athletes, including Mateen Cleaves, Charlie Bell, and Adam Wolfe, all of whom were on the 2000 national basketball championship team with Ishbia, in addition to Chris Hill, Kelvin Torbert, and recent grad, Conner George.
Ishbia has made several philanthropic donations to MSU over the past few years. In February 2021, he donated $32 million to MSU’s athletic program — the largest single cash commitment in MSU’s history from an individual. Funds from this donation are being used for the Men’s Basketball Excellence Fund, the MSU football program, a Spartan for Life Fund, which is focused on leadership and career development, and the MSU Athletics Excellence Fund, which provides flexible and unrestricted resources.