'Grit Factory' closed on UW football sideline, but Badgers getting gear from Collin Wilder's NIL deals – Madison.com

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Fans won’t see “The Grit Factory” trucker hat on the University of Wisconsin football team’s sideline again Saturday at Rutgers, but they can buy one for themselves.
Badgers senior safety Collin Wilder signed a pair of name, image and likeness deals for his Halloween-costume-turned-turnover-prop. Those deals prevent the hat and other “Grit Factory” merchandise from being on the sidelines because UW’s policies bar engaging in NIL activities during games. Wearing the hat — which players did after coming up with turnovers last week against then-No. 9 Iowa — during games would constitute advertising for the product.
Wilder said he was a bit apprehensive about taking the team’s impromptu symbol and adding it to his NIL portfolio. But multiple companies approached him about creating merchandise off the original hat, and he made sure his teammates were included.
“At the end of the day, I ended up going with two companies that I thought were obviously great branding, they do a great job of marketing and they’ve had great stuff in the past,” Wilder said. “Most importantly though, they take care of my teammates. They’re willing to send my teammates things. Because I mean, I didn’t get a turnover that game. I didn’t wear the hat. It was other guys who got those turnovers and put it on TV.”
Wilder’s deal for “Grit Factory” T-shirts with BreakingT, an online manufacturer, included a clause that each member of the team got a free T-shirt. His deal with Barstool Sports to sell hats that are near copies of the original also included free hats for his teammates.
Wilder was in class when Dan “Big Cat” Katz — a cohost of Barstool’s “Pardon My Take” podcast, the most-listened to sports podcast in the country — texted him about putting together a deal. UW redshirt sophomore quarterback Graham Mertz helped connect Wilder and Katz, whose podcast featured Wilder and UW inside linebacker Jack Sanborn on its “Football Guy of the Week” segment.
“’Football Guy of the Week’ links up with grittiness,” Wilder said. “This program was built on grit. I’m glad people liked it and noticed it. … Such a cool experience and again, something I would have never thought would happen.”
Katz told Wilder that more than 100 hats had been sold in the first hour after they went on sale Tuesday afternoon. Wilder receives 80% of the profits from the hats, according to Barstool. His cut from BreakingT was not disclosed.
Wilder said he believes the “Grit Factory” represents this UW team, which is looking to win its fifth consecutive game this weekend at Rutgers. And he wanted to ensure that UW’s players benefitted from the hat instead of outside companies.
“The sad part about is we can’t necessarily advertise it like we did anymore,” Wilder said. “At the same time, I thought this was a great opportunity to involve everybody. And there was a fine line of getting ahead of somebody who could’ve taken it and ran with this.”
Adley Dahl balances on a football as the Badgers warmup before taking on Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) hands off the ball during warmups at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst welcomes Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Tatum Grass (39) to the field during warmups at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig (19) strips the ball from Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) is sacked by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker C.J. Goetz (98) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers safety John Torchio (15) an Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Mike Maskalunas (58) works to recover a fumble on an Iowa punt return during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Noah Burks (41) celebrates recovering a fumble and forcing a turnover against Iowa during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (6) runs the ball during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
UW quarterback Graham Mertz completed 7 of his first 8 passes Saturday. He finished 11-for-22 for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Danny Davis III (7) catches a pass under coverage by Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Dane Belton (4) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (6) is tripped up by Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Jack Koerner (28) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) completes a pass to Wisconsin Badgers fullback John Chenal (44) under coverage by Iowa Hawkeyes defensive end Joe Evans (13) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Iowa running back Tyler Goodson is tackled by UW linebackers Leo Chenal and Nick Herbig and safety Scott Nelson during the first half. 
Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) hands the ball off to Iowa Hawkeyes running back Tyler Goodson (15) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz yells from the sideline during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) looks to handoff the ball during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig (19) and Wisconsin Badgers safety Scott Nelson (9) celebrate a strip sack during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers kneel to pray prior to their game against Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) throws the ball during the first half against the Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Noah Burks (41) recovers an Iowa fumble during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal (5) sacks Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin fans cheer for the Badgers as they take on Iowa during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
Wisconsin Badgers place kicker Collin Larsh (19) celebrates a field goal with Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Logan Brown (50) during the first half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers tight end Jake Ferguson (84) scores a touchdown during the first half against Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) runs the ball during the first half against Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
UW tight end Clay Cundiff gives a thumbs-up as he is lifted into an ambulance during the third quarter. 
Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) runs the ball during the second half against Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.
Wisconsin Badgers defensive end Matt Henningsen (92) and Wisconsin Badgers defensive end James Thompson Jr. (90) hoist the Heartland Trophy into the air following a win over Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Fans storm the field following Wisconsin’s win over Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Fans storm the field following Wisconsin’s win over Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Noah Burks (41) sacks Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Alex Padilla (8) during the second half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Noah Burks (41) tackles Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Nico Ragaini (89) during the second half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) is sacked by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig (19) during the second half at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 
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