Virginia Athletics announces NIL partnership with The Brandr Group

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Virginia Athletics fans who put stock in such things have been vocal about UVA being behind the times on NIL. News from the University about a new NIL venture would seem to be addressing those criticisms.

UVA and The Brandr Group announced on Monday that they have established a group licensing agreement for student-athletes covering all 27 UVA teams. This partnership creates new opportunities for the student-athletes to profit off their Name, Image and Likeness using the school’s official trademarks and logos.

“We are excited to partner with The Brandr Group to expand the opportunities for student-athletes to maximize their NIL,” Athletics Director Carla Williams said. “The program will provide our fans with new ways to support our student-athletes through the purchase of officially licensed co-branded merchandise.”

The collaboration with The Brandr Group allows for the collective use of student-athletes’ NIL in licensing and marketing programs, co-branded with University of Virginia logos and marks.

Student-athletes will have the option to voluntarily join a group licensing program. The Brandr Group will facilitate group licensing opportunities on behalf of the student-athletes.

Participation in the program will not limit any student-athlete’s NIL rights in their individual licensing and marketing activities.

The Brandr Group, a brand management, marketing and licensing agency, will manage and administer the program as well as develop licensing opportunities on behalf of the student-athletes.

The Brandr Group also manages group rights programs for the NFL, NBA and MLB players associations in the college space.

Products that combine team logos and player names and numbers have accounted for a large portion of licensed sports merchandise sales at the professional level for decades, and this program opens the door for similar opportunities for student-athletes at the collegiate level.

While no specific timeline is set, the plan is to introduce merchandise as it becomes available including team jerseys with the name and number of their favorite Cavalier student-athletes who have joined the respective group licensing program once TBG enters into agreements with applicable school trademark licensees.

“We are excited about the opportunities for the University of Virginia in the NIL space given their academic and athletic reputation,” said Wesley Haynes, the CEO at The Brandr Group. “We are absolutely thrilled to add them to our family of schools, working closely with their team to craft co-branded opportunities through our group licensing program. This will give Cavalier student-athletes the chance to capitalize on their NIL through a vast merchandising portfolio, while also uncovering new player engagement opportunities for their devoted fans.”

Potential licensees interested in learning more about NIL should contact University of Virginia director of licensing Katie Dittmer ([email protected]).


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