CHAMPAGNE – University of Illinois athletes have a new collective avenue to capitalize on their names, images and likenesses.
UI Athletics is the latest college to partner with the Brandr Group to establish a group licensing agreement for its athletes.
Students of all UI college sports can join the agreement, allowing their collective use in a variety of co-branded trade agreements with the Illinois trademarks and logos.
“Fans can expect to be able to purchase official Illinois merchandise, including team jerseys with the name and number of their favorite Illini players who joined the respective group licensing program once TBG will have agreements with applicable school brand licensees, ”Illinois Athletics wrote in the announcement of the agreement.
Brandr manages the group rights programs for the NFL, NBA and MLB player associations and their interactions in the college space.
The agency took to the name, image and likeness opportunities once they became legal this summer and now represents athletes from 27 different colleges, including Nebraska, Ohio St., Michigan St., Purdue and Maryland.
Group licensing agreements make it easier to trade large-scale products, such as jerseys with names, collectible cards, and potentially video game appearances, as companies wouldn’t have to make terms with every athlete.
The main products that Brandr has helped college athletes bring to market so far are jersey t-shirts, or “shirseys”.
Authorized by the athletic program and players at each school, some of the shirseys already available include those with the names and numbers of Gonzaga’s male basketball players and the likenesses and nicknames of Alabama football players. , to name a few.
“Co-branded clothing represents a significant portion of the overall sportswear market,” said athletic director Josh Whitman.
“This is a revolutionary opportunity for our student-athletes to associate their name, image and likeness with the Illinois trademarks, enabling the creation of valuable co-branded items that will allow our fans to represent their favorite players in new and exciting ways. “