From Michigan State Athletics:
With groundbreaking opportunities on the horizon for Spartan student-athletes to market their name, image and likeness (NIL), Michigan State Athletics has developed the EverGreen program to support its student-athletes. With pillars of brand, empower, educate and innovate, Spartan student-athletes will be equipped to build their brand, make informed decisions within the framework of applicable legislation, and be positioned to maximize their earning potential.
“Our goal is to provide our student-athletes the tools for success — on the field of competition, inside the classroom and beyond MSU,” Michigan State Vice President and Director of Athletics Bill Beekman said. “Name, image and likeness legislation will offer new opportunities for our student-athletes and EverGreen will prepare and position them for these changes. As we looked at designing our NIL program, we recognized that not only did we have a responsibility to help student-athletes build their brand, but it was also imperative that we provide the education and training so they can capitalize on these opportunities while also navigating this new landscape.
“From the time our programs first recruit a student-athlete, we talk about being a Spartan for Life. Our EverGreen program reinforces that lifelong concept, while also providing tools and education that will equip our student-athletes to thrive long after they leave Michigan State.”
By definition, “evergreen” is “universally or continually relevant” or “products, segments and strategies that stay relevant over a long period of time.” Beyond the dictionary definition, EverGreen reminds student-athletes that they will be ever green; that although they might only wear the green and white uniform for a limited amount of time, they will always be a Spartan.
To put together the EverGreen program, Michigan State Athletics partnered with industry leaders in the areas of student-athlete branding, student-athlete development and financial education: INFLCR, Anomaly Sports Group and TeamAltemus. With these partnerships, Spartan student-athletes will benefit from a large network of expert advice.
Through its continued partnership with INFLCR, Michigan State Athletics is able to aid Spartan student-athletes in building their brand through the distribution of images directly to the student-athletes. The INFLCR Verified program allows the compliance office the ability to track all NIL deals ensuring compliance with applicable NCAA and state legislation. And with the addition of INFLCR+, Spartan athletics has secured more individualized assistance in the NIL era, including Fair Market Evaluations of each student-athlete’s social media accounts and social strategy evaluation. Spartan student-athletes will also have access to INFLCR’s Storyteller Playbook through its app, providing student-athletes with a wide-range of easily digestible educational videos on topics ranging from social media strategy to financial education.
“It’s been fun for our team to watch Michigan State’s student-athletes display record usage on the INFLCR platform over the past couple of years in working together,” INFLCR CEO Jim Cavale said. “As we build on that foundation with new NIL features that will set the Spartans up for maximum success in the NIL era, it’s going to be a lot of fun doing it with one of the staple brands in all of college athletics. Once a Spartan, always a Spartan. This community will come together, not just with current student-athletes, but also with alums, and a lot of opportunities will gravitate towards Michigan State student-athletes to be able to monetize their NIL and do it safely. We couldn’t be more excited to launch this partnership together with Michigan State.”
Anomaly is recognized as an industry leader in the field of student-athlete development and education, a field in which MSU has invested long before the NIL era. Through this NIL focused partnership, Anomaly has created a MSU-specific education plan designed to prepare every Spartan student-athlete for not only the rules that will be in place surrounding NIL, but also concepts surrounding decision making, due diligence, personal and business financial management and contracts.
Within its NIL curriculum on financial management and due diligence, Anomaly collaborates with TeamAltemus, which has extensive financial and athletic experience in the sports arena and previously on Wall Street. Because of its independence in the marketplace, TeamAltemus is able to provide unbiased expert financial advice to Spartan student-athletes using real-life examples.
“Michigan State’s EverGreen program is a testament to the school’s commitment to providing their student-athletes with the tools necessary to effectively navigate the NIL landscape,” Anomaly Founder and President Luke Fedlam said. “In collaboration with TeamAltemus, we are excited to bring our protective education curriculum to the student-athletes, coaches and staff of Michigan State. We are all aligned with preparing their student-athletes with real-world, practical knowledge and tools needed to help protect them through education on business-level decision-making, due diligence, financial management and contract analysis.”
Through the partnerships with Anomaly Sports Group and TeamAltemus, MSU is providing business education to not only navigate NIL, but also life outside of sports. The extensive first-hand experience of these teams will help Spartan student-athletes understand the business elements in play in the NIL environment, and increase the chances of student-athletes making wise business decisions.
EverGreen’s rollout comes following a successful inaugural partnership between MSU Athletics and the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in spring 2021, designed to help student-athletes sharpen their entrepreneurial skills, master fundamental business principles and learn the process for creating new ventures.