Money being left on the table for player likeness, use of names and more
In the world of top-level professional sports, players rights, use of names, player likeness and more is big money. With the sustained popularity of collectable cards and the continued global growth of video games and esports, the opportunity for players to cash in has never been more lucrative.
Two of the largest franchises, the NFL and the MLB are beginning to capitalise on this via the players unions.
OneTeam Partners are the company taking on this task and representing players from the NFL and MLB. OneTeam are backed by private equity firm RedBird Capital.
Ahmad Nassar, President of NFL Players Inc, will run the business, with Brent Stehlik an operating partner at RedBird Capital and former Chief Revenue Officer of the Cleveland Browns and San Diego Padres as President.
The sports unions will hold 60% of the equity and RedBird will hold the remaining 40%.
Ahmad Nassar has outlined plans to bridge into more sports with no limit to what is considered a “top level player”.
Nassar has said;
“What we want to do is optimise products across sports, whether it’s esports or cricket in India or North American sports.”
“We think there’s so much room to run in terms of the types of games and products that are available to fans. The realisation for all of us was partnering with outside capital and capitalising this business. That was the missing ingredient.”
Players of the NBA have recently reclaimed their player rights after their latest discussions with the league. The group is very much hoping that NBA players will eventually join this new setup.
If this occurs, OneTeam Partners will have access to players from 3 of the 4 largest sports franchises in North America, leaving NHL as the next obvious target followed by a hop across the pond to the Premier League.
This trend of players reclaiming their rights is rippling throughout top level sports, which indicates fantastic timing for both OneTeam Partners and RedBird Capital.
Companies such as Electronic Arts Inc and Nike Inc pay very handsomely for the rights to players likeness and names. Not to mention promotional extras such as being the cover star of an annual video game such as Madden or NBA2K. Revenue from these streams were formerly collected by the leagues themselves, however under the guidance of OneTeam Partners and RedBird Capital, players will find it easier to cash in on their percentage.
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