The Houston Cougars just received a major boost in NIL money thanks to one of the highest-profile donors in sports history, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale. Mack recently pledged a one million dollar, team-wide NIL deal to the Cougars basketball team.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Mattress Mack, he is the owner of Gallery Furniture in the Houston area and uses portions of his income to make large wagers on professional sports and college athletics. Mack currently holds the record for the largest payout in sports betting history, a whopping $75M thanks to the Houston Astros claiming the World Series title last November.
Mack donated a portion of his big winnings to the Houston NIL collective, LinkingCoogs which recently passed the $5 Million dollar mark in total NIL deals. Landon Goesling, co-founder of LinkingCoogs praised Mack’s charitable actions to On3’s Pete Nakos saying, “The reality is, obviously, in a large, large thanks to Mack, we were in a great spot last year for NIL for last year’s team. Had a lot of success, obviously, this year moving forward, going into the Big 12. That’s kind of the biggest piece of this whole NIL thing. How do we build sustainability? And the reality is, you need year in, year out support to be able to do what you need to do and to be able to win at a high level and compete.”
While the Cougars have found themselves in the national spotlight over the last few seasons as a national championship contender, the program now has to compete in the toughest basketball conference in America, the Big 12 Conference. With sizeable donations from donors like Mattress Mack, the Cougars have found a way to build one of the best NIL collectives in the nation, getting an early head start on preparing for the challenges that come with joining a new conference.