Last Updated on July 29, 2023
The University of Houston men’s basketball team has received a $1 million NIL contribution from Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale.
Mattress Mack has built a reputation for his big sports bets and allegiance to collegiate and professional Houston sports teams. Although the deal’s details have not been released, the men’s basketball team will endorse Gallery Furniture Store and attend Gallery Furniture events on social media.
Mattress Mack has donated NIL funds to the men’s basketball team before. The first was back in 2022 when he made a sizeable donation to the basketball team upon winning $75 million from a $10 million bet he placed on the Houston Astros winning the World Series. It was the largest sports betting payout in history. That same year, Mattress Mack placed a $3 million bet on the Cougars to win the NCAA tournament.
LinkingCoogs, the University of Houston NIL collective, is responsible for facilitating the most recent NIL deal. While some collectives are geared toward promoting deals through non-profit initiatives, LinkingCoogs serves to connect University of Houston athletes to local Houston area small businesses.
The Cougars are expected to compete in international exhibition games in Australia next month. Ultimately, this will allow Ivory Coast native and redshirt freshman center Cedric Lath to participate in NIL.
It is easy to focus on the large amounts of money Mattress Mack has donated to NIL causes at the University of Houston. However, he goes to great lengths to mentor University of Houston athletes, sharing wisdom and building genuine relationships with them. Mattress Mack has also held autograph sessions at his furniture store, where each participating men’s basketball player received $3,000.