Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: IU athlete sponsorships we’re dying to see

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr. looks at the field Oct. 24, 2020 in Memorial Stadium. Collegiate athletes at IU have started to receive sponsorships, and columnist Bradley Hohulin discusses brands certain athletes should partner with.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Michael Penix Jr. looks at the field Oct. 24, 2020 in Memorial Stadium. Collegiate athletes at IU have started to receive sponsorships, and columnist Bradley Hohulin discusses brands certain athletes should partner with.

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA’s cherished tradition of generating millions of dollars in revenue off unpaid student-athletes wasn’t super cool. 

Now that they’re eligible to profit from their name, image and likeness, which IU athletes are going to land sponsorships, and from which companies? 

It’s time to channel our inner Kelley School of Business undergraduate, spout a bunch of inane corporate jargon and facilitate authentic, synergistic branding, whatever the hell that means. 

Women’s basketball senior Grace Berger and football senior Ty Fryfogle: duh

This one is low-hanging fruit, but it needs to be said.

While it’s a shame we never got the dream Burger King dual sponsorship with Fryfogle and fellow wide receiver Whop Philyor, adding Berger to the mix opens up even more opportunities for burger restaurant promotions.

Contrary to what a legion of insecure dudes might tell you, not only do plenty of people care about women’s basketball, but several female sharpshooters could make serious bank because of it.

The only thing more deeply golden than the medals Berger earned at the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup would be a basket of hot, crispy Ty Fries.

Quarterback Michael Penix Jr.: the Indiana Daily Student

This one is totally a joke. I mean, that would be crazy...right?

All the goalies: cyber security

Maybe it’s men’s soccer senior Roman Celentano smirking with his arms crossed. Perhaps it’s water polo senior Mary Askew shaking her head and wagging her finger. Either way, some IU goalkeeper is bound to end up crudely photoshopped in front of a stock image of a laptop.

Bonus points if there’s meaningless binary code scrolling in the background.

Then again, given IU’s often casual relationship with protecting its students' personal information — 2021’s cap and gown ordeal was almost as spicy as 2020’s GPA leak — maybe this isn’t a match made in Hoosier heaven.

Men’s basketball junior Trayce Jackson-Davis: also the IDS

Then again, is there really anything so crazy about promoting independent, award-winning college journalism? I’m just spitballing here, guys. 

Long-distance swimmers and runners: extremely niche sports rehab devices

I am not a sports scientist. I hardly know anything about science, and honestly I don’t know that much about sports either. Still, I refuse to believe even half of the futuristic contraptions trainers use on endurance athletes actually do anything. 

Theraguns. KT Tape. Hypospray. Cryo chambers.

Three of these are actual products available for athletes; the other is from Star Trek. See what I’m saying?

Nevertheless, I want to know how absurd we can get. Until 2021 Olympian and junior swimmer Michael Brinegar is advertising a foam tube that breaks up muscle fascia, aligns your chakras and rekindles your doomed romantic relationship in one clean roll, I won’t be satisfied. 

Men’s basketball senior Michael Durr: economy cars that absolutely cannot accommodate 7-foot-tall humans

Remember those Buick commercials in which legendary Icy Hot spokesperson and former NBA center Shaquille O’Neal would praise his ride’s expansive legroom, only for the camera to show him crammed into the driver’s seat like an orca in a bathtub?

Imagine that, except it’s Durr with his knees up to his ears, giving a pained smile and thumbs-up from one of Andy Mohr’s used Hondas. When a car has the IU men’s basketball stamp of approval, you know it’s a vehicle you can trust to drive smoothly and definitely not have its wheels come off near the finish line.

Anyone really good at sports, anyone at all: the Indiana Daily Student

My Twitter direct messages are open. Serious business inquiries only. 

Football senior linebackers Marcelino Ball and Bryant Fitzgerald: Plus size men’s clothing

IU football has no shortage of ridiculously jacked gentlemen who could easily represent a clothing brand for large individuals, but Ball and Fitzgerald hold the distinction of playing a position dubbed the “Husky.”

Of all the dog breeds IU could have picked to describe its half-safety, half-linebacker hybrids, it chose the one that shares a name with big and tall dress shirts.

Whether you’re a particularly broad-shouldered man going to the mall or an opposing running back trying to squeeze through an opening in IU’s defense, one thing’s for sure — you’ll always find guys like Ball and Fitzgerald waiting in the Gap. 

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