The Business of NCAA Basketball

March 11, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

 On March 13, (aka
Selection Sunday)
Division I men’s and women’s basketball teams around the country will learn if all their hard work during the season has paid off with an invitation to
‘The Big Dance.’ Hundreds of young student-athletes dreaming of that perfect
Cinderella moment; basketball at its purest. While the players competing at the nearly 350 Division I colleges and universities have
amateur status, many fans and media have noticed that sometimes the NCAA looks more like an unofficial division of the NBA or WNBA. Especially when the universities these athletes play for cash in big with endorsement deals. In January,
The Wall Street Journal reported NIKE, Inc. and The Ohio State University reached a sponsorship agreement worth $252 million. This deal eclipsed the apparel contract Nike inked with Big Ten rival the University of Michigan in 2015 for a mere
$169 million. Back in 2014,
Under Armour and Notre Dame agreed to a shoe and apparel deal that exceeded $90 million. For the universities, these partnerships elevate their marketing status and the companies get their names associated with winning teams. The brands are also hoping that by
outfitting an athlete throughout his or her collegiate career, that the players with a viable shot at going pro will be open to an endorsement deal since there is already an established relationship. But since the players are the backbone of the program, shouldn’t they be allowed to benefit in some way from all the profits being made from their hard work? The NCAA doesn't think so. Their stance is the student athletes don't need to receive any monetary compensation since their being 'paid' in
full scholarships and a free education. Talk about madness. Tell us in the comments what you think of these big endorsement deals. Photo via:
College Spun