A 68-57 loss to the Maryland Terrapins was not the most embarrassing thing to happen to Michigan State men's basketball on Thursday. In addition to getting bounced from the Big Ten Tournament, the team formerly known as the Michigan State Spartans announced that they would be surrendering their dignity to a mortgage company for an undisclosed fee. Beginning in the 2021-22 season, according to a press release, the men's basketball team "will now be known throughout the Breslin Center as, 'MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.'" Now that's frictionless branding!
Even putting aside the self-evident unethical nature of selling a sponsorship for a team whose players won't see a cent of that sweet, sweet Dan Gilbert money, this has become a hilarious flop for MSUSPBRM. Rival fans have reacted with glee at the news that MSUSPBRM would be renting out their identity like a Little League team, and even supporters of the green and white have failed to see the positives of, in the mortgage company's own words, "making the company synonymous with Spartan athletics."
MSUSPBRM took so much derision yesterday that today they sent out an instant classic of a statement, informing the public in passive-aggressive fashion that there is absolutely nothing funny or gross about ceding your name to a money-lender. It is totally normal. Find a new slant.
Though their time in the 2021 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament presented by a different finance company may be over, MSUSPBRM will now focus their attention on hoping to sneak into the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship presented by a credit card and soda.