Michigan Basketball: NIL Becoming more of a Focal Point in Ann Arbor

In this article, I talk about the direction of Michigan Basketball's NIL program, and what current changes could mean for the future of the program.
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Practice Day - Brooklyn
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Practice Day - Brooklyn / Elsa/GettyImages

In today's landscape, building a successful college basketball program is a lot different than it used to be. With the rise of NIL and the fall of transfer rules, basketball has turned into a very transactional sport; and who can blame the players, everyone wants to make the most of their personal brand, especially when the future is unknown.

Michigan football has been the topic of most NIL talk around Ann Arbor. Obviously, Michigan is a blue blood football program and has failed to create a competitive NIL plan. That seems to be slowly changing. The offseason appears to have been very good for Michigan football in terms of building NIL programs and securing funding. For Michigan basketball, however, the story has been different.

Michigan basketball needs to up NIL game

The basketball program has mostly taken the backseat to football when it comes to NIL. There haven't been many wide-scale efforts to build NIL in the program. Some of that could have been because of the abysmal season the team was having, but some could have just been because of low interest. Nonetheless, it wasn't getting done, and it was hurting the basketball team.

Well, under new head coach Dusty May, it seems like that is going to change. At least partially. I already discussed that it was going to be easier for May to get transfers through admissions, but NIL is the other side of the coin. Guys want to maximize their value, and probably aren't going to go to a school that won't provide them with money making opportunities.

I thought it was odd that May turned down Louisville - a program with good NIL - for Michigan. To me, that signaled that the higher ups at Michigan were willing to invest heavily and rapidly into NIL for basketball. Well, it seems like that is already happening.

Yesterday, March 25th, Champions Circle announced its "March with May" fundraiser. The fundraiser is similar to the one they had for football following the national championship victory, and aims to take advantage of the excitement around the program.

The premise is likely very similar to the football campaign; large donors (hopefully) are going to make large contributions privately and pledge to match individual contributions. The football team was able to raise over $750,000 from smaller public donations and millions more from private donations. With a similar effort here, the basketball team could be in a tremendous position.

For a football team, there are 50-100 guys that want a piece of the NIL pie. With basketball, that number is down to about 10. In basketball, a competitive NIL fund has a few million dollars in it. In football, that number is in the tens of millions. There is no reason why the University of Michigan can not raise a few million dollars for the basketball program.


Things seem to be moving in a positive direction for Michigan basketball. If the Wolverines can become competitive with NIL while also remedying their transfer admissions issues, their two biggest problems will be solved. The next few months are going to be huge for this program, so keep an eye out for more news.