How 2 Michigan graduates behind Valiant Management are keeping UM in the NIL race – The Athletic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The line behind Oosterbaan Field House stretched at least 100 yards deep as fans marched through the Michigan Stadium parking lot with helmets, jerseys and souvenir bags in hand.

About an hour after Michigan’s spring game ended, school event staff members opened a large garage door to reveal a balloon with “MICHIGAN” in bright lights. About 80 members of the football team sat at tables along the perimeter of Michigan’s indoor practice field, waiting to sign autographs for fans who paid $100 or more to witness the signing.

For the next 90 minutes or so, fans traveled from station to station, collecting team signatures. Offensive lineman Karsen Barnhart greeted fans in an old-fashioned fedora. A few seats down, freshman Will Johnson sneaked bites of food into a disposable container between autographs.

Sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy was among the busiest players, signing autographs from a steady stream of fans. McCarthy only played a handful of snaps in Michigan’s spring game as he nursed a sore shoulder, but his good spirits weren’t dampened. He greeted fans with a broad smile and a handshake.

“It’s great to see you,” he said, beaming. ” Where are you from ? Iowa? It’s cute.”

In addition to the $100 admission, participants had the option of purchasing sponsorships up to $5,000, with profits distributed to players based on seniority and marketability.

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