ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WOOD) — College athletes may not get paid, but the accumulate a kingly sum of gear. Now, a new business allows former layers to profit from it.
The Players Trunk was started by a couple of Michigan basketball student managers, Austin Pomerantz and Jason Lansing.
“I don’t know why we didn’t think of this anytime earlier,” former player Charles Matthews said.
He said he didn’t know what to do with all of his shoes, shorts and shirts when his career at Michigan was over, and he wasn’t alone.
“The first thing we saw was that, once college athletes graduated they immediately wanted to post their gear but they were selling it on Instagram,” Pomerantz said.
“I’m like, there really needs to be some sort of platform that allows these college students to make money off their gear when they graduate, since they aren’t compensated when they’re in school,” Lansing said.
So they built it.
As of Friday, they had 40 athletes signed up to offload their swag and more in line.
“People are dying for exclusive team gear that has a number on it and you can’t find in public. I think that’s the appeal of this,” Lansing said.
The most unique item out of the gate was Matthews’ Final Four chair from San Antonio in 2018.
“There’s probably about 130 of those chairs made,” Matthews said.
One of them can now be yours — for a cool $20,000.
“We just felt it’s impossible to replicate that piece,” Pomerantz explained how they reached the price.
The business got a big boost when Lansing reached out to ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas. He put out at tweet on July 7 and traffic spiked right away, Pomerantz said.
“Once he put out that tweet, we had over 650 people in the store. Our social following went through the roof,” Pomerantz said. “It was awesome to see.”