Licensing Leadership Summit: The Rise of the Athlete Influencer

Terése Whitehead of the NFLPA highlights the growing influence of athlete brands in licensing.
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License Global

February 19, 2020

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According to a recent

NFLPA study

, 79 percent of NFL fans root for a player who doesn't play on their favorite team. The study also found that 47 percent of Gen Z respondents are likely to purchase a product that is endorsed by their favorite player.

NFLPA's 2019 study results point to the growing branding power of the modern athlete. The accessibility of social media and the popularity of fantasy sports has enabled sports’ most prominent stars to reach audiences in a wholly 21st Century way. Fan favorites such as Russell Wilson have grown their brand by making themselves approachable on social media and becoming known commodities to fantasy football players.

To examine how athletes have been able to become influencers in their own rights, Terése Whitehead, senior manager, sponsorships and operations, player services, NFLPA, will take the stage at this year's Licensing Leadership Summit. Whitehead comes to the Summit, having played a key role in helping develop the branding opportunities

available to NFL players. Her talk will examine how athletes have extended their branding opportunities to reach new consumers around the world.

Whitehead joins the

Licensing Leadership Summit

agenda with years of experience working across sports on the team and league levels. Before her current stint at the NFLPA, she worked for Tandem Sports and Talent agency and Williams and Connolly. Whitehead's career has seen her develop branding initiatives for high-profile professional athletes including Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, Ray Allen and Tamika Catchings.

The Athlete Influencer Difference


Join Whitehead's session "The Athlete Influencer Difference" at this year's 

Licensing Leadership Summit

taking place March 16–17 at the 

New York Hilton Midtown

 in New York, NY. In the session, Whitehead will examine how social media has revolutionized athlete brands and turned the titans of gridiron into digital influencers.

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