Source: Spartan Dawgs 4 Life cancels portion of NIL deals with Michigan State football players

On3 imageby:Pete Nakos09/29/23

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Spartan Dawgs 4 Life, the official NIL brand of Michigan State, has canceled its contracts with a portion of the Michigan State football team, a source told On3. The contracts were voided immediately.

The NIL apparel program had contracts with roughly 30 to 35 football players, a source said. It remains unclear how many specific contracts have been voided. Spartan Dawgs 4 Life (SD4L) also has contracts with most of the Michigan State basketball team; those deals remain intact.

“SD4L has made the strategic decision to reduce our advertising budget with select student-athletes in an effort to build a sustainable NIL model for our programs,” the brand wrote in a statement. “Our platform has produced millions of dollars of NIL sponsorship opportunities to MSU student-athletes and will continue to invest in campaigns that best promote the SD4L brand.”

The brand has secured under 100 subscriptions, which falls short of the projected growth models.

The source indicated to On3 that a driving reason behind the decision to cancel the contracts is a shortage of funds. SD4L was launched in August by prominent booster Steve St. Andre, who is the CEO of Shift Digital.

SD4L is a recognition of former Michigan State athletes, and the plan was to have a membership platform and exclusive gear drops.

The news of contracts being canceled broke Friday night with a report from WLNS reporter Audrey Dahlgren, who said all of SD4L’s deals were broken.

News of SD4L’s voided contracts comes just days after Michigan State officially fired football coach Mel Tucker for cause. Tucker is at the center of an investigation into sexual harassment claims made by prominent advocate Brenda Tracy. In a Title IX complaint, Tracy alleged Tucker repeatedly made sexual comments and masturbated during an April 2022 phone call.

The allegations were reported in the late night hours Sept. 9, and Michigan State suspended Tucker without pay the next day. Harlon Barnett took over as the interim head coach and is still serving in the role after the university officially fired Tucker.

“We have such a unique position of, we’re trying to sell gear, unique events and autograph signing for the players,” St. Andre told On3 in August. “So it’s almost in the truest sense of how NIL was designed? Well, this is what it was meant to be.”

This is a developing news story. Nick Schultz contributed to this report