Brand for next-generation sports fans and pop culture will leverage its 85 million Gen Z followers and content to drive licensed products, collaborations and experiences.

License Global

June 7, 2023

3 Min Read
Overtime Sports
Overtime SportsThe Brand Liaison

Overtime, a brand for the next generation of sports fans, is ready to tackle licensed products and is partnering with The Brand Liaison to lead its licensing program. 

Within six years, Overtime has built a community, reaching 85 million fans, athletes and influencers and generating over 2 billion monthly video views. Through its new sports leagues, like OTE Basketball and OT7 Football, Overtime showcases college recruits and capitalizes on the name, image and likeness of these players through licensed products.

“We are proud of the rapid growth of Overtime’s apparel over the last six years, and this new partnership with The Brand Liason will bring Overtime’s brand to new heights and new places,” says Tyler Rutstein, chief brand officer, Overtime. “We see licensing as our next leap forward as a brand.”

The model has already proven successful through blue chip sponsorships with power brands like adidas, Gatorade, 7-11 and State Farm, collaborations with brands such as Billionaire Boys Club and Rolling Loud and licensing with Topps for trading cards. Future licensed categories include performance apparel and accessories, power snacks and beverages, technology, health and beauty, collectibles and more.

“As soon as we saw this brand and the culture they have created, we saw the enormous potential for licensing and experiences,” says Steven Heller, president, founder, The Brand Liaison. “This dynamic team has built an incredible business model and following that is perfect for licensing and collaborations.”

Overtime athletes are ages 16-20; with its business model, Overtime has created a professional pre-university athlete system, leading to earlier name recognition for licensing deals. College sports have seen an increase in viewership in recent years. According to official National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) data, average FBS attendance increased 5% last season to 41,840 fans per game. Additionally, Learfield found that in 2020- 2021, more than 538 million households (unduplicated) viewed NCAA college football and men’s basketball, along with a combined 69 million fans who attended games in 2019. More important to this industry, fans spend more than $3.5 billion a year on collegiate licensed merchandise.

The Brand Liaison’s partnership with Overtime has the potential to shift sports licensing as we know it, especially as collegiate athletes are getting a boost. The NCAA had barred students from profiting off their NIL under amateurism rules. As of July 2021, the NCAA can no longer prohibit athletes from securing endorsements.

Overtime’s business model creates a new throughline for the sports industry. Star NBA or NFL athletes often come from college programs, and star college athletes come from a high school or community college background. What would happen if those students were introduced to the professional sports world even earlier? What if they became known to sports fans and licensable brands at that early of a point in their careers? The Brand Liaison and Overtime deal is attempting to answer those questions, and many investors see this as the future of sports.

Overtime is backed by Liberty Media Corporation, Andreessen Horowitz, Blackstone, Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Sapphire Sport, Winslow Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Spark Capital, Micromanagement Ventures (the family of the late David Stern), Black Capital, Alexis Ohanian, Drake, Quavo, Daymond John and more than 40 NBA and NFL stars, including Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Trae Young. More than 6% of active NBA players have invested in Overtime.

Sports fans and licensees, watch this space. A change is coming.

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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