CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois athletes have a new, collective way to benefit from their names, pictures, and likeness.
UI Athletics is the newest college to partner with The Brandr Group to enter into a group licensing agreement for its athletes.
Students from all of the UI’s varsity sports can opt for the agreement, which allows their sharing in a variety of business deals co-branded with Illinois trademarks and logos.
“Fans can expect to purchase official Illinois merchandise, including team jerseys with the names and numbers of their favorite Illinois players who have joined their group licensing programs, once TBG makes arrangements with appropriate school brand licensees,” wrote Illinois Athletics in the deal announce.
Brandr manages the group rights programs for the NFL, NBA and MLB player associations and their interactions in the college sector.
Dedicated to name, image, and likeness following legalization this summer, the agency now represents athletes from 27 different colleges, including Nebraska, Ohio St., Michigan St., Purdue, and Maryland.
Group licensing deals make it easy to negotiate scaled products – such as jerseys with names, trading cards, and possibly video game appearances – since companies would not have to negotiate terms with each individual athlete.
The most important products that Brandr College Athletes have brought onto the market so far are jersey T-shirts or “Shirseys”.
Some of the Shirseys already available are licensed through the athletics program and players of each school, including those with the names and numbers of Gonzaga men’s basketball players and the likenesses and nicknames of Alabama soccer players, to name a few.
“Co-branded apparel is responsible for a significant portion of the overall sportswear market,” said Sporting Director Josh Whitman.
“This is a breakthrough opportunity for our student athletes to associate their name, image, and likeness with the Illinois brands, enabling the creation of valuable co-branded items that enable our fans to share their favorite players with new and exciting ones Way to represent. “