Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Fanatics & OneTeam Announce Groundbreaking College Football NIL Initiative

Soon you will be able to buy the jersey of your favorite college football player, knowing he will benefit from the sale.

Fanatics and OneTeam Partners, a partnership between the NFLPA, MLBPA and Redbird Capital, have announced a groundbreaking NIL initiative that would provide college football players with the chance to get paid for inclusion in a jersey customization program prior to the kickoff of the 2022 season.

Along with its official apparel partnerships with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, NASCAR, and PGA Tour, Fanatics has licensing deals with 150 top colleges and universities across e-commerce, wholesale, and physical stores. It will use its current jersey manufacturing and distribution capabilities to offer custom Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor jerseys with OneTeam managing the group rights deals for the college athletes included in the program.

Athletes will be able to opt into the program via the COMPASS NIL app and share in the profits when fans order their custom jerseys.

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

Get on our list for sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

“Broad-scale group rights for college athletes is the only pathway to bring this program forward,” said Derek Eiler, Fanatics’ executive vice president of college sports. “OneTeam is the perfect partner because of their group licensing expertise and their thoughtful approach in college. Aligning with OneTeam was a critical step to develop a scalable and efficient college football jersey program. We are excited to create an even deeper connection between schools, college athletes, and fans through licensed merchandise.”

Malaika Underwood, OneTeam’s senior vice president of licensing, said that the plan is to eventually extend this concept out to both men’s and women’s sports. So not only can you expect to see more custom jerseys of your favorite college athletes in the stands next fall, but the players will actually get to benefit from those sales for the first time.

“What we bring on the athlete side layers onto Fanatics’ strong existing partnerships with most major colleges and universities,” Underwood said. “As the commercial landscape continues to develop for college athletes, their collective value is only beginning to be realized.”


Enter your email below