Oct 27, 2011 at 01:40 PM
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Playmark Looks To Simplify Athlete Licensing For Small Business

NFL PLAYERS, Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), and Playmark, today announced an exclusive partnership to make the official rights of NFL players more accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Playmark.com's streamlined licensing process aims to make it easy for the creative and tech community (think product developers and designers), to create officially licensed products with professional athletes.

Playmark will provide prospective licensees with access to the official rights of more than 2,000 NFL players, including name, jersey number, likeness, photographs, illustrations and digital autographs of each player. Most importantly for start-ups looking to leverage the platform, Playmark says it will charge no upfront fees to start using player likenesses.

"Our partnership with Playmark makes it possible for thousands of app and game developers, independent artists, agencies and businesses of all sizes to gain immediate access to the intellectual property rights of NFL players," said Keith Gordon, president of NFL PLAYERS. "Our players can't wait to see what today's creative designers and developers can dream up."

"We're extremely proud to partner with the players of the NFL," said George Aposporos, Playmark CEO. "By bringing the star power of NFL players to growth markets like mobile apps, casual and social games, and on-demand merchandise, we enable new businesses to be instantly recognizable to millions of NFL football fans."


Independent artists, designers and developers that join Playmark can earn royalties when the assets they contribute get licensed for use in new digital products, apparel or merchandise.

Though this venture looks to be more targeted to the creative class and start-ups, the Seattle-based company's platform would seem to put it in competition with Brand Affinity Technologies, which offers licensing opportunities for NFL players like Drew Brees and recently raised $20 million.

"Playmark will allow for companies to create and promote their products by leveraging our marketing power," said Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. "I hope to see my name and image on all sorts of cool products."

The Playmark platform aims to simplify the entire licensing process, from web-based approvals to automatic reporting.

"As an early-stage startup, we never expected obtaining license rights to more than 2,000 NFL players to be so fast and easy," said Jeremy Levine, CEO of StarStreet.com. "Within days of applying for a license, we were using digital assets from NFL players within our product to increase user engagement and conversion."