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Editor’s Choice: The Sports Licensing Deals Hitting the Target in 2023

The sports licensing market continues to grow at a brisk pace. As License Global’s resident sports fanatic, Ian Hart, senior digital editor U.K. & EMEA, License Global, highlights some of the most impactful collaborations hitting the back of the net in 2023.

Ian Hart

December 13, 2023

4 Min Read
License Global's top sports collaborations in 2023
License Global's top sports collaborations in 2023License Global

Growth of Football in Sports Licensing

Paramount TMNT Collab with Tottenham Hotspur FC

License Global reported in October the scale of the growing market of football licensing, so it’s safe to say that when Paramount collaborated with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to launch a new product range to support the release of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” it was always going create a stir.  

The collaboration combined the huge popularity of the sport, with a highly anticipated movie which went on to make more than $180 million at the global box office. As well as the apparel launch, The Turtles themselves were also be present at a Tottenham game, to meet and engage with fans, as well as taking in the London skyline on the “Dare SkyWalk.” 

Learn more about the latest football licensing news and collaborations.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collaboration with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Paramount, Tottenham Hotspur

Sports Fashion Entering the Mainstream

In June, Bruno Maglione, president, licensing, IMG, spoke with License Global about the recent influx of sports properties entering mainstream fashion.  

G2 Esports, Ralph Lauren Apparel Capsule Collection 

Esports really came to the fore during the various COVID lockdowns, when live sport shut down in many areas of the world. Gaming and streaming have continued to go from strength to strength since then and it’s no surprise to see some of the major licensing deals that have followed.  

Related:Editor's Choice: The Video Games Already Building Buzz for 2024

In July, Ralph Lauren was announced as the exclusive fashion outfitter to the G2 Esports team. The deal would see athletes and creators wearing the inaugural G2 Esports x Ralph Lauren capsule collection, including T-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies, tracksuits and caps, all featuring the newly designed Polo x G2 crest. 

Learn more about the latest esports licensing news and collaborations.  

NFL, Paper Planes New Era Headwear Collection 

The National Football League’s (NFL) collaboration with Paper Planes saw an exclusive New Era Headwear Collection launch to celebrate youth flag football globally ahead of the NFL Flag International Tournament, which took place at the 2023 Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas. The collection included caps in the signature 59FIFTY silhouette for all 32 NFL teams, with each cap featuring the Paper Planes logo and the NFL Shield. 

Learn more about the latest American football licensing news and collaborations.  

NHL’s Coyotes, Fanatics Collaboration 

The Arizona Coyotes launched Coyotesshop.com, an online store blending culture, fashion and hockey, in partnership with Fanatics, as part of the NHLShop.com One Store program. The collaboration provided a destination for consumers to discover new product drops, access exclusive merchandise and find information on the inspiration behind the design from its creators. 

Learn more about the latest hockey licensing news and collaborations.  

PacSun, Formula 1 Collection 

Earlier this year, Las Vegas was the latest venue to be added to the Formula 1 calendar, after a 41-year hiatus. The build-up to the race attracted its fair share of criticism and negative comments, largely due to the months of disruption it caused to one of the busiest throughfares in the world, the Las Vegas Strip. Once the race weekend arrived, there were still issues with the track and fans being sent home early during practices, but the race itself proved to be one of the most enthralling of the season. 

Licensing and Las Vegas are synonymous, as Licensing Expo can attest, and there were a host of collaborations launched to mark the return of the race to the city. PacSun and Formula 1’s collection included a Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 race-inspired capsule. As part of the wider range, the limited-piece collection captured the spirit of Las Vegas with branding, new styles and designs and distinctive color pops.

PacSun, Formula 1 Collection

Other Notable Sports Licensing Collaborations and News 

Monopoly Prizm: NBA Edition from Hasbro, Panini USA 

Instead of buying properties, players try to take control of NBA Games and collect bonus points when opponents land on them. Players compare the stats on their Panini cards to earn more points when they compete in Playmaker challenges and All-Star Contests. They can also use the Panini cards to trade NBA players or draft new ones. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins. 

Learn more about the latest basketball licensing news and collaborations.  

Six Nations Rugby, Fanatics Partnership 

The announcement saw Fanatics launch and run the official Six Nations Rugby online store for fans, which offers fans around the world a wide range of officially licensed products, including jerseys, training and lifestyle wear. As part of the partnership, Fanatics will exclusively manufacture Six Nations Rugby fan apparel and outerwear, as well as headwear, including branded caps and beanies. 

Learn more about the latest rugby licensing news and collaborations.  

The complete Monopoly Prizm: NBA Edition board game, Hasbro

WWE, UFC Close Merger 

Sprints, Vlasic Pickles Launch Pickleball Gear 

‘Creed: Rise to Glory – Championship Edition’ Comes to PlayStation 

Learn more about the latest sports licensing news and collaborations, on License Global’s newly categorized pages.  

About the Author(s)

Ian Hart

Senior Digital Editor U.K. & EMEA, License Global

Ian joined the License Global editorial team in May 2022 as digital editor for the U.K. and EMEA, becoming Senior Digital Editor in April 2023.

Ian is a huge fan of sports and entertainment brands and, as a father, toys and kids' brands are a large part of his life!

He has been at Informa (formerly UBM) since 2018, where he was previously the editor of SHP, a B2B digital publication aimed at health & safety professionals.

Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in B2B trade print media, in the automotive sector, working on various publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.

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