Help for Aches and Pains

Sports-related licensing deals and other ventures involving athletes and licensed sports IP are starting to proliferate in the emerging CBD category. Although each agreement is unique, any resulting products are apt to focus on addressing specific aches, pains, and injuries caused by sports or an active lifestyle. Some recent examples:

• Former NFL Patriot Rob Gronkowski paired with Abacus Health Products to endorse the latter’s CBDMedic brand. Components include advertising around the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium but no branded products yet.

• Soccer player Megan Rapinoe partnered with a CBD start-up called Mendi. Her twin sister Rachael is a co-founder of the company, which makes edibles, gel capsules, and topicals to help athletes recover from workouts. Megan serves as brand ambassador.

Sports Illustrated magazine, owned by Authentic Brands Group, paired with Sentia Wellness for topicals, starting with a limited-edition recovery cream, tied to the Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated Swim brands.

• USA Triathlon entered into a deal with Pure Spectrum CBD. The focus of the program will be on educating triathletes, coaches, and others about CBD through webinars and digital and print materials.

• The Portland Thorns, a club in the National Women’s Soccer League, named Social CBD its exclusive CBD partner, noting that it expected to announce more specifics about the relationship in the future.

• Golfer Greg Norman paired with Green Growth Brands’ GGB Beauty for personal care products for active adults. The CBD contained in the products is supplied by Tilray, which has a relationship with Authentic Brands Group, Norman’s licensing representative. The first products were introduced in fall 2019 in kiosks in Simon Malls, with a full rollout expected in 2020.

• Ski and performance-sports label Spyder partnered with CBD Universe for a collection of lotions and creams and a travel kit. The target customer base consists of athletes and people with active lifestyles. The products are for addressing skin, muscle, and joint complaints that arise from outdoor pursuits.

• Former NFL athlete Terrell Davis co-founded Defy, a CBD-infused sports drink. The product, which comes in multiple flavors, is billed as helping loosen joints and alleviate sports-induced aches as well as lessening pain from migraines.

These deals, for the most part, represent a first step toward licensing in the sports-related CBD segment. More than half of them are focused on marketing and endorsement rather than branded products. But activity in the latter segment is likely to expand quickly. First, marketing and promotional partnerships often lead to product lines. And second, more athletes, sports governing bodies, teams, and events are sure to follow these early entrants into the CBD space.

CBD is one of the 56 trends discussed as part of a broader look at 15 licensing super trends guiding the consumer products business into the future, in the just-published 15 Licensing Super Trends for 2020 and Beyond. Read more about the report here.

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