Wisconsin's Graham Mertz Reveals Personal Logo in Video; 1st College Athlete to Do So

Blake SchusterContributor IJune 28, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 30: Quarterback Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first quarter of the Duke's Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium on December 30, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz unveiled a hype video Monday, though it wasn't the highlights of the Badgers' play that stood out. Mertz's trademarked logo at the end of the eight-second clip grabbed all the attention.

Graham Mertz @GrahamMertz5

Coming soon... <a href="https://t.co/XDhapgrRrr">pic.twitter.com/XDhapgrRrr</a>

As the NCAA braces for the impact of name, image and likeness policies that go into effect July 1, Mertz becomes the first college athlete to release a trademarked logo, according to The Athletic.

Mertz is likely just the first of numerous college athletes who will release similar videos, logos and more as name, image and likeness rights are opened to student-athletes.

The move—a likely placeholder for the NCAA while federal legislation is debated—allows college players to earn money off their names, images and likenesses regardless of which state they live in. Multiple states have already passed NIL laws, and those in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Kentucky go into effect July 1 as well.

Similar laws in California, Michigan, Colorado, Tennessee, Maryland and South Carolina will kick in over the next few years.

While the state of Wisconsin hasn't passed an NIL law, its flagship university is working to get ahead of the curve. 

"College athletics is entering a new era and we are excited to embrace the opportunities that will come with changes in student-athletes' name, image and likeness rights," athletic director Chris McIntosh said earlier this month (h/t CBS' Barrett Sallee). "At our core, we exist to prepare student-athletes. Our approach to preparing them for success in the NIL arena will be no different than our commitment to setting them up for success on the field of play, in the classroom and in life beyond their time at UW."

The Badgers have already launched a program titled "YouDub" in partnership with Opendorse to help players get the most of out the NCAA's NIL policies. 

Mertz wasted no time getting himself up and running. By the end of the week, videos like these may become the norm in college sports.