Since 2015, Ohio State fans have only been able to purchase officially licensed jerseys with only the No. 1 or the last two digits of the current year (No. 21, for example) in order to avoid infringing upon a player’s name, image and likeness.
However, with student-athletes now able to profit, the university’s office of trademark and licensing and athletic department announced on Tuesday it has entered into an agreement with The Brandr Group that will soon permit the sales of jerseys with the name and number of current players, among other opportunities.
Student-athletes who opt into the group licensing agreement will be permitted to use the Buckeyes’ trademarks and logos for their name, image and likeness pursuits. It will start with jerseys and then grow to include merchandise such as apparel, bobble heads, trading cards and video games.
“This is a unique opportunity for our student-athletes,” senior associate athletic director Carey Hoyt said in a statement. “We are passionate about educating and providing opportunities for student-athletes to take advantage of their name, image and likeness, and co-branding them with Ohio State’s official trademarks and logos is going to be an exciting new way for them to monetize on their NIL.”
It’s unclear at this time what percentage of the sales student-athletes will receive, however a recent agreement between football players at Michigan and the Wolverines’ official retailer, The M Den, will result in the student-athletes receiving more than $10 per jersey sold.
Of course, the biggest difference here is that Ohio State will facilitate the sale of the jerseys at its official retailers so long as the players have joined the the group licensing program, whereas the sales at Michigan are solely for customizable jerseys a single retailer. The university will not be involved in the deal-making or represent student-athletes, but does retain the right to disapprove of trademarks on items.
“We are excited to work with Ohio State’s amazing group of student-athletes and can’t wait to get started, as we expect great interest given the tremendous success of Ohio State athletics,” The Bradr Group CEO Wesley Haynes said.
Furthermore, the Brandr Group – which also entered into a similar agreement last month with North Carolina – has launched a licensing program with alumni groups at other schools. It is expected that Ohio State will combine its alumni licensing program, Legends of the Scarlet & Gray, with the company in the near future.
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