2 Michigan football players among first college athletes to announce deals to profit off their brands

Mike Sainristil, Blake Corum reach deal with Yoke Gaming

Mike Sainristil (left) and Blake Corum (right) (2020 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Two Michigan football players have reached deals with a company that will allow them to profit off of their name, image and likeness, putting them among the first college athletes ever to do so.

Junior wide receiver Mike Sainristil and sophomore running back Blake Corum announced on social media that they have signed with Yoke Gaming, which will allow them to receive payment from fans who want to play video games with them.

Here’s what Sainristil and Corum said in their identical Instagram posts:

“We are COLLEGE ATHLETES… We are building our brands and working everyday to be the best student-athletes we can be. We finally have the chance to get paid for marketing opportunities. This is my first paid post announcing I’ve joined @yokegaming. All fans can now game with me on the @yokegaming app. All athletes DM me and I can help you get set up and let’s get PAID. 🎮💯”

This week, the NCAA adopted an NIL (name, image and likeness) policy that gives student-athletes the ability to benefit from their brands without sacrificing eligibility.

“Governance bodies in all three divisions today adopted a uniform interim policy suspending NCAA name, image and likeness rules for all incoming and current student-athletes in all sports,” the NCAA announced Wednesday.

“This is an important day for college athletes, since they all are now able to take advantage of name, image and likeness opportunities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “With the variety of state laws adopted across the country, we will continue to work with Congress to develop a solution that will provide clarity on a national level.”

While Sainristil and Corum appear to be the first Michigan athletes to announce this type of partnership, they certainly will not be the last.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.