The NFL Players Association and OneTeam Partners have announced the six women- and minority-run early-stage businesses that will present their products and services to athletes, industry experts and investors at the 5th annual NFLPA Pitch Day presented by Panini America, the exclusive trading card partner of the NFLPA.
The event will be held virtually on Wednesday, Feb. 3 as Just Women's Sports, round21, Armored Things Inc., Fangage, Naturade and Monarc present how their businesses connect with the sports industry as well as their plans for aligning with athletes. The startups will compete for access to funding, mentorship and the NFLPA’s unique assets, which may include group licensing rights.
The event will be hosted by Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer, Magic Johnson Enterprises. Entrepreneur and retired NFL standout Justin Forsett will serve as moderator. He is founder and chief executive officer of Hustle Clean, a mission-driven, Black-owned business committed to empowering the pursuit of greatness.
Pitches will be judged by a panel of athletes touting their own business acumen, featuring entrepreneur and retired NFL Pro Bowler Brian Orakpo, WNBA All-Star and WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike, investor and Pro Bowl receiver Golden Tate as well as WNBA veteran Sydney Colson.
The winning pitch will garner additional prizes including $25,000 in player marketing from the NFLPA, $25,000 in services from OneTeam and strategic consultation from Allied, a full-service integrated global marketing agency that works with the world’s largest entertainment, lifestyle and sports brands including the NFLPA and OneTeam.
“Pitch Day is one of many platforms the NFLPA is building to help close the gap for minorities and women as well as for athletes in business and investment,” says Steve Scebelo, president, NFL Players Inc. “Combined with new aspects of our program, including perspectives from athletes and industry experts and an award to celebrate an up-and-coming minority entrepreneur, we are excited to hear from the pitch companies who are primed for business growth and collaboration.”
Conversations with NFL Players Inc. Board members, entrepreneur and philanthropist Kathy Ireland and venture capitalist Jenny Abramson as well as Shannon Allen, the founder and chief executive officer, grown. Ireland is Chair, CEO and Chief Designer of kathy ireland
Worldwide, listed as the 26th most powerful brand in the world by License Global. A human rights activist, Ireland and kiWW support many causes including human freedom and equality, as well as women and children’s health and education. Abramson is Founder & Managing Partner of Rethink Impact, the largest, US-based impact venture capital firm with a gender lens that invests in female leaders using technology to solve the world’s biggest problems.
Pitch Day also includes VIP roundtables with athletes and industry experts presented by Ureeka and the presentation of the “Young Entrepreneur Award” recognizing an up-and-coming minority innovator, with candidates sourced through the Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute.