NFLPA, MLBPA Form Company To Manage Player Portrayals
The NFLPA and MLBPA have "struck a deal with RedBird Capital Partners to form a new company called OneTeam Partners LLC," according to Gottfried, Beaton & Diamond of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The parties said that OneTeam will be "centered around the management of the players' portrayals." RedBird has "made an initial investment" of $125M and will "own a roughly 40% stake in OneTeam." The players associations will "own the rest." Meanwhile, the company is also "in talks with other U.S. players unions," such as the WNBPA, MLSPA and the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team PA. The NFLPA and MLBPA get roughly $120M in "combined annual revenue from licensing deals with companies" including EA, Sony and trading-card maker Panini. They "plan to pool that together with the RedBird commitment and invest in projects that expand opportunities to license their group name, image and likeness rights." A portion of revenue from video game and card licensing and marketing has "historically been distributed to NFL and MLB players, with some covering union operating expenses." The players will still "get their usual payout under the new deal," but OneTeam can now "invest its new capital in business ventures." NFL Players Inc. President Ahmad Nassar will be OneTeam CEO, while RedBird Operating Partner and former Browns Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer Brent Stehlik will be President (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/18).