Between ticket sales, concessions and all sorts of T-shirts featuring the No. 32 but no name, BYU raked in an incredible amount of cash this season thanks to the steam created by national Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette.
Now, it's time for The Jimmer to cash in, and it's starting with a poster.
The first of several forays into the world of endorsements is officially titled 'The Jimmer Poster,' and is available at JimmerPoster.com. It ships for free and can be yours for $14.95. There will also be 500 copies framed, matted and signed by Fredette himself.
"It's a good feeling to be able to know you did what you had to do in college and now you are in a position where people really want to buy posters and jerseys," Fredette told the Deseret News. "It just shows you that all the hard work you put into this profession is starting to pay off, and it's a good feeling."
The issue of whether college athletes should be paid in return for the mass amounts of revenue they draw for their universities has been a major hot-button topic of late. Jimmer played by the rules, and not long after the Cougars' Sweet Sixteen loss to Florida in New Orleans last month, began to finally see some opportunities for financial dividends.
The poster was done by a local photographer — Doug Martin — and his partner Alan Knight, who produced a similar poster roughly 20 years ago of legendary BYU quarterback Ty Detmer after he won the Heisman Trophy. The photo shoot took place the day before Fredette headed to the Final Four in Houston, where he collected Player of the Year honors.
Fredette looks dapper in the tuxedo-and-sneakers get-up, complete with the photo being retouched to remove the Nike logos from his shoes, avoiding the handing out of a free plug.
The Deseret News story documents how agents began contacting the Fredettes a year ago, and currently, as many as 25 are courting the family in hopes of representing Jimmer, who is an endorsement star waiting to explode and a likely first round pick in June's NBA draft.
The family is more than deserving of what's about to come to them. Jimmer's father, Al, who is a financial advisor for AXA Advisors, sold $10,000 worth of stock options from the company over the course of Jimmer's four-year collegiate career so the family could travel from Glens Falls, N.Y., to regularly watch him play. In the final month of Fredette's senior season, they drove more than 4,800 miles to watch him play in the Mountain West Conference tournament in Las Vegas, then in NCAA regionals in both Denver and New Orleans.
"I think the system places a big temptation in front of kids right from the start," Al Fredette said. "Kids want their families to see them play, and it must be very difficult for many of the kids, who have depended on and are very close to their families, to be in a strange place, working hard, knowing their family can't come to see them play, and in many cases, not even watching them on TV. That would have been heartbreaking for our family.
"Is the NCAA a nonprofit organization, or do they make a lot of money on these kids? They want these kids to stay for four years, but in many ways they make it difficult for them to do so."
The poster pitch isn't the only endorsement offer to surface since the end of BYU's magical season. Not by a long shot.
There's currently an offer for a restaurant named "Jimmer's Place," a proposed book deal, speaking engagements and several more. A BYU campus bookstore is also close to a deal to begin selling a variety of Jimmer hats and T-shirts.
Here's to hoping he cashes in on his image and unique game as much as BYU did over the past several months. Fredette certainly earned it.