We often hear the arguments for NCAA student athletes to be paid something—anything—as a result of their schools and the NCAA using the athletes’ names and images to make money themselves. It’s not every day, though, that we hear of professional athletes trying to make even more money as a result of their names and images in video games.
But it makes sense: millions of people play these video games and throw touchdowns with Josh Allen or hit homers with Mike Trout. If the video game creators didn’t use the athletes’ names and images, their games wouldn’t sell. And if this partnership takes off, the real winners will be tomorrow’s NCAA athletes who will turn pro after college, as they’ll profit likely during college and certainly after.
The NFL Players Association and MLB Players Association have partnered with growth equity firm RedBird Capital Partners to launch OneTeam Partners, a company designed to help athletes maximize revenue from their names and images.