This is part of our "Last Week Today" series that includes a weekly roundup of the past week's most exciting and industry-altering news. Check back on our blog every week for updates! These stories cover sponsorship news for April 19 – April 25, 2021.
Lawrence Brand Just Starting
Upcoming first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence, is positioned well to finally cash in on endorsements for his talents. With an initial deal already inked with Gatorade, the championship-winning quarterback from Clemson is already following the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes to what could be near $10 million per year in endorsements. The partnership everyone is waiting for? It remains to be seen which shampoo brand will sign in Lawrence to a long-term deal.
The Future of College Basketball is Going to Overtime
Media content company, Overtime, continues to increase in value as the company raises money via investors. With an impressive group that includes Jeff Bezos, Drake, Klay Thompson, and other NBA players, Overtime is now looking at a value of about $250 million. Long term, the recent launch of the Overtime Elite basketball league should directly challenge the NCAA and NBA-sponsored development leagues. Overtime’s influence via investors, content, and the six-figure annual salary for prospective players should pull a decent amount of talent from other amateur basketball leagues.
The TOUR Opens the Purse for Popularity
Described by the PGA TOUR as a 6-point, ‘impact score’, players will now be able to cash in on their ability to increase fan and sponsor engagement off the course. From Google search popularity to Nielsen Brand Exposure Ratings, players can now earn as much as $8 million per season through this new initiative. While it can be expected that some players will embrace the opportunity, others will be completely fine just competing for the millions of dollars you already get from winning tournaments.
Mamba and the Swoosh Part Ways
This past week marked the end of the 18-year partnership between the Kobe Bryant brand and Nike. While initially signing with Adidas as a rookie, Kobe grew his ‘Mamba’ brand to new heights after joining Nike in 2003. The breakup was primarily due to the late player’s family not being happy with how Kobe brand products were sold with limited availability after his death. Bryant’s estate was also not able to come to terms with Nike on a ‘lifetime’ deal for the Mamba brand that would be similar to their partnerships with Jordan and Lebron.
Be on the lookout next week for the usual round-up of sponsorship news.