Michigan State’s Basketball Team Will Be Called “MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage”

Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage struck a five-year deal to be MSU's presenting sponsor

Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo during the Big Ten tournament.
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty

As part of a five-year sponsorship deal that was unveiled Thursday, Michigan State University men’s basketball team will soon be known as “MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.”

The Spartans will take the name of the Detroit-based mortgage lender starting in the 2021-22 athletic season in a deal that is designed to make the “company synonymous with Spartan athletics,” according to a news release from the university.

“Michigan State University is very important to our company. It is the alma mater of our founder and chairman Dan Gilbert, me and many team members throughout our organization. We are honored to contribute to the university that has prepared so many of us for success,” said Rocket Mortgage CEO Jay Farner. “It is our hope that our presence in MSU Athletics will make students and athletes more aware of the opportunities for them right here in Detroit with Rocket Mortgage and the many other growing companies in the city.”

In addition to presenting the Spartans, who have made eight Final Four appearances in the NCAA Tournament since head coach Tom Izzo took over in 1995, Rocket Mortgage will now have “considerable branding” throughout MSU’s Breslin Center and Spartan Stadium that will be “highly visible” to TV audiences. That branding will include the Rocket Mortgage logo being present on the MSU men’s and women’s basketball team bench and clipboards and on football coach Mel Tucker’s headset.

“Michigan State football wishes to thank Rocket Mortgage for their continued support, not only of our program, but for their overall support for intercollegiate athletics,” Tucker said. “It’s important for championship teams to have championship companies behind them, and Rocket has been a champion for our program for years and will be well into the future.”

The financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed, and the timing is notable as it comes a month after the announcement of a $32-million donation to the university by Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of Rocket’s Pontiac-based rival UWM Holdings Corp.

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