Archive | Sports

Kicked to the Curb

A number of European football (soccer) clubs have been taking licensing, retail, and other rights in-house as their previous contracts with leading sports sponsors and licensees end: In the latest example, Italian club Inter Milan took retail and licensing rights back from Nike in November 2019. Chinese retailer Suning is the organization’s majority owner, which […]

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Pay for Play

A number of recent developments are blurring the lines between amateur and pro sports, both at the collegiate and Olympic levels. If the trend continues, it may open significant opportunities for the licensing community. California enacted the Fair Pay to Play Act, which allows college athletes to receive money for endorsements without jeopardizing their scholarships […]

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Taking a Chance on Sports Betting

In May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The decision effectively allowed states to legalize sports betting—outside of Nevada, where it was already legal—although there are some court challenges ongoing related to the Wire Act that may alter the landscape somewhat. In the year and a half since […]

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Going for the Win

Deals announced in summer and fall 2019 illustrate some of the key current trends in the sports licensing business: Rising activity around women’s sports. The English Netball League, a 90-plus-year-old women’s sports entity, signed a deal with British retailer Oasis for a range of apparel, with players Ama Agbze, Eboni Usoro-Brown, and Jade Clarke appearing […]

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Between the Lines

At least a half-dozen current and former athletes have published children’s books since the beginning of the year. Their work includes fiction and nonfiction for readers as young as age 4 and as old as young teenagers: • Just this week, former NBA player Kobe Bryant published Legacy and the Queen, a tennis-themed young adult […]

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A Pitch for Women’s Soccer Fans

Women’s football/soccer has been in the spotlight this summer after the July 7 conclusion of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, hosted by France and won by the U.S. team. Heightened global awareness for the women’s sport is increasingly leading to more endorsement opportunities for individual female athletes, more sponsorship revenue for women’s teams, and […]

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Advances in E-Sports Licensing

A number of trends in recent months have been moving the e-sports industry, including the licensing component, forward: Big sports licensees are doing deals. It was not that long ago that the first mainstream sports licensees joined e-sports specialists in doing deals with teams, leagues, and players. Since then, the floodgates seem to be opening. […]

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Power Players Enter E-Sports

Licensing tied to e-sports leagues, governing bodies, teams, and athletes has been slowly growing for the past three or so years. Most of the action to date has occurred through specialist licensees and distributors such as We Are Nations, Meta Threads, EsportsOnly.com, Manatee.gg, and Esportsclothing.com. There have also been occasional capsule collections, as well as […]

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Sporting Goods Makers Relish Pickleball

Pickleball, created in the U.S. in 1965, is one of the fastest-growing participation sports in North America. Combining elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, it uses an oversized ping pong–like paddle and a wiffleball-like ball. A group of specialist equipment makers and ecommerce companies has emerged to supply the pickleball needs of both professionals […]

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The Sporting Life

Last September we published a post on a handful of new and expanding pro sports leagues that were dipping their toes into the licensing business. Here are some more names to add to that list: • The National Women’s Hockey League, the first female pro league in this sport, was launched in 2015 with four […]

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