Skip to main content

New NIL deal allows fans to get to know Michigan QB Cade McNamara

It was a monumental career moment for Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara, helping lead Michigan to a victory over Ohio State and earning a chance to play for a Big Ten football championship.

McNamara started every game for the Wolverines last season as they went 12-2 including winning the Big Ten title. His teammates have long shared their impressions of McNamara as a strong leader, and he also has conveyed how important he holds that aspect of the game.

But now fans can find out a bit more about McNamara, his impressions of particular games and his leadership style and what it takes to be a Michigan quarterback. McNamara has partnered in a unique five-part series NIL deal with REVEL Moments that launches Tuesday at 7 p.m. The series, called “THE LEADER,” is $40 to participate and can be accessed at It will last an hour and is limited to 350 fans.

REVEL describes this as a live docuseries focused on McNamara’s life and journey. The group has worked with professional athletes in similar aspects, but he is the first college athlete to be featured.

"It's really fan/viewer engagement with me where we cover questions and topics regarding the overall general topic of what each episode is,” McNamara told The Detroit News. “It’s a way of me engaging with my fans, Michigan fans, covering different parts of my life and my career.

“It's more of getting to know me as a person, getting to know what I bring to the team, getting to know what my personality is and who I am as a leader. I'm really interested in to see where this is gonna go. As each episode continues, every person who's viewing and gets a chance to witness it will not only get information and gain knowledge of who I am, but also my perspective on what the life of a starting Michigan quarterback looks like as well.”

McNamara has been part of several unique NIL deals since last July when college athletes were allowed to profit off their personal brands. He is one of the college ambassadors for Tom Brady’s new clothing line, Brady, and now he’s part of this fan-interactive experience.

He and REVEL have worked together to come up with the five episodes, but McNamara said they’re trying to keep quiet on the details regarding the next four. REVEL is in charge of how the format will look.

“They've given me a great opportunity to just be myself, and to really tell my story and to really give me a platform of my own to really engage with the fans,” McNamara said. “This relationship began a couple months ago and ever since I've been extremely intrigued. I’ll be able to say what I want to say and be put in a really comfortable situation, so for me, it's gonna be great.”

McNamara said navigating the NIL world was difficult initially, but now there’s an understanding of what’s out there, what’s doable and what works for each athlete.

“It's a really good thing for all the athletes,” McNamara said of NIL. “We're starting to see more growth and more comfortability in such a landscape that's so foreign to everyone. Just how it began was really rapid and really almost a little intimidating as to like what are the limits? What is this going to look like? Personally, I know that my focus will always be on football.

“What I've really pushed with any of my NIL partnerships or relationships is that I will never let any partnership or any income negatively interfere with my football. That is something that I've stood by, and I think over the course of the NIL process, me and my group have been really selective. That adds to the branding that I want to represent myself, but also really being selective in what fits my lifestyle and what I think entails being the starting quarterback at Michigan, and the level of seriousness that I take with that.”

Twitter: @chengelis