This is Sparta! Signing Day Nets More than 100 NIL Contracts

Signifying a new era of athletics at Michigan State University in East Lansing, more than 100 Spartan athletes signed Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) contracts with Charitable Gift America (CGA) for the new academic season at the recent This Is Sparta! signing day event.
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Spartan athlete signatures
More than 100 Michigan State athletes signed up with Charitable Gift America (CGA) for the new academic season at the recent This Is Sparta! signing day event. // Photo courtesy of Charitable Gift America

Signifying a new era of athletics at Michigan State University in East Lansing, more than 100 Spartan athletes signed Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) contracts with Charitable Gift America (CGA) for the new academic season at the recent This Is Sparta! signing day event.

The event saw 109 athletes — from the United States and abroad — officially sign their charitable-based contracts through CGA’s This Is Sparta! NIL fund — from football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, baseball, hockey, and field hockey.

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to facilitate our donors’ wishes and support a broad array of Spartan athletes from eleven different sports,” says Thomas Dieters, board president of CGA. “As a model program that is fully compliant with Title IX — and one that requires all of our athletes to give a portion of their earnings back to a charity of their choice — today clearly shows that MSU now has the infrastructure in place to become a national leader in NIL contracts done right, to impact the greater good.”

Katie Lu, a member of the MSU women’s golf team, chose to donate her earnings to the Travis Manion Foundation. Honoring the legacy of 1st Lt. Travis Manion, the Travis Manion Foundation empowers veterans and families of fallen heroes to thrive and serve their communities.

“The NIL world has been rapidly growing and to have Spartans lead the way is pretty spectacular,” says Lu. “Whether it’s supporting the Special Olympics, breast cancer research, or mental health, the best part about this is while we are lucky to be earning NIL funds, we are also being taught the importance of giving back. Wherever our paths take us, character is going to be the one thing that will get us the furthest. This is Sparta! and Charitable Gift America has given each and every student athlete here a chance to embody this trait.”

More than 100 charities worldwide already are benefiting from CGA’s approach to NIL contracts, including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Plan International, Place of Hope, and the Global Sanctuary for Elephants.

Vicki Caine says she was touched that MSU pitcher Nick Powers donated a portion of his contract to the Miracle League of Mid-Michigan, where Caine serves as league director. The Miracle League is the organization behind DeWitt Township’s Miracle Field, a barrier-free ballpark with a specially designed rubber field surface where young athletes with special needs can play ball.

“We’re so grateful to Nick and Charitable Gift America for their support,” says Caine. “Nonprofits like the Miracle League of Mid-Michigan depend on assistance from the community to provide the services we offer and make a difference in the lives of our athletes and their families. It’s inspiring that organizations like ours across the country—and even the world—are receiving the same backing, thanks to Charitable Gift America and the young philanthropists it partners with.”

Charitable Gift America’s global contract allows international athletes to benefit while maintaining compliance with all applicable laws. Women’s basketball player Isaline Alexander, a native of Ontario, Canada, says she was grateful for the opportunity to partner with CGA.

“Unfortunately, most international athletes aren’t able to participate in NIL programs,” says Alexander. “It’s an honor to represent my country and my university while supporting charities that are meaningful to me. I look forward to seeing more international athletes joining the CGA family.”

Individuals who wish to learn more about This is Sparta! or who wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the organization can contact Dieters at tdieters@cgaamerica.org and visit the website at cgaamerica.org.

“We’ve had an enormous amount of support from donors across Spartan Nation, and our momentum is continuing to grow,” Dieters says. “We’re just getting started.”