The three companies won in the following categories:
- Best Breakout Product: Shinesty’s player-themed Hawaiian style shirts.
- Best Player Activation: Rawlings’ activation on QVC to promote player signatures used on the new Team Roster Signature Football.
- Best Use of Group Player Rights: EA SPORTS’ record-setting success across engagement and revenue growth through Madden NFL 20.
“We have many licensing partners whose products, activities and results exceeded expectations, and this year’s winners, Shinesty, Rawlings and EA SPORTS certainly set a high bar and represented some of the most inventive ways to leverage group rights that we saw last season,” says Steve Scebelo, vice president, licensing and business development, National Football League Players Association.
As a brand-new apparel licensee, Shinesty unveiled a line of officially licensed Hawaiian shirts featuring hand-drawn caricatures of players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Colorado-based company, whose mission is to bring consumers the most outlandish collection of clothing the world has ever seen, created the NFLPA collection for tailgates,watch parties, game day events and sports enthusiasts both in the stands and on the sidelines.
Rawlings leveraged its rights to the players’ official licensed signatures to provide fans an original new product – the official Team Roster Signature Football. Those watching global television network QVC saw the football covered in facsimile signatures from a team’s active roster of players.
EA SPORTS, one of the NFLPA’s longest-standing licensees, broke records both in engagement and NFLPA-based revenue growth. “Madden NFL 20” was the most successful games in franchise history, with unique gamers growing by 30 percent year-over-year, monthly average gamers reaching an all-time high, more than 330 million hours played, and over one billion minutes watched on Twitch.
A panel of NFLPA licensing executives evaluated licensees on five criteria: number of unique players featured within the licensees’ product lines; the marketing and promotional activations that featured players throughout the year; creativity and innovation in product development; the licensees’ positive development of the players’ intellectual property; and the range of distribution and growth in annual financial performance.
The NFLPA, through its licensing and marketing arm, NFL Players Inc., launched the annual awards in 2015 to honor the NFLPA licensees that demonstrate the most successful and creative use of NFL player group licensing rights.
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