One of the most famous NFL players of all time is launching his own sportswear brand that will pay college athletes for their name, image and likeness and could take on larger rivals.
What Happened: NFL star Tom Brady announced last week the launch of the Brady Brand, a sportswear company that will kick off in January 2022.
The first signees to endorsement deals with the Brady Brand include University of Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara, Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall, University of Georgia wide receiver George Pickens and Jackson State University quarterback Shedeur Sanders.
Other athletes signed to the Brady brand include Patrick Zahraj (tennis), Andrew Fenty (tennis), Jack St. Ivany (hockey), Julian Reese (basketball) and Jermaine Samuels Jr. (basketball).
The Brady Brand also signed Henry Davis to an endorsement. Davis was the number one overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2021 MLB Draft.
Sanders is the son of NFL great Deion Sanders and future teammate of the number one college football recruit Travis Hunter.
The Brady brand was co-founded by Brady and Jens Grede.
“Having these 10 athletes represent our first Brady campaign is really special,” Brady said. “They are hardworking and driven players in the early stages of their careers and each one of them embodies the spirit and ethos in which our brand was founded.”
Related Link: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Tom Brady
Why It’s Important: The launch of the Brady Brand could be similar to the Jordan Brand launch from Michael Jordan with Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) or the Steph Curry branded product launch by Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UA).
Nike reported its Jordan brand having double-digit growth in the most recent quarter. The brand has been a huge success story for Nike and is leading to new exclusive endorsements with college athletics programs.
Jordan brand revenue was up 31% year-over-year to $4.7 billion in the most recent fiscal year.
Under Armour is betting heavily on the brand of Steph Curry and expansion into new products. Under Armour has been shying away from sponsoring individual athletes and teams to focus on its performance products, which could provide an opportunity for a new player like the Brady brand to gain share.
Brady is notably endorsed by Under Armour, which could lead to a conflict and also mean that he will not renew when his current deal with the company is up. Brady is also a current NFL player and has strong relationships with teams and players and could start to announce endorsement deals with current players.
Products from the Brady Brand will launch through a direct-to-consumer platform on Jan. 12. Distribution will also include Brady brand products being sold in Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) physical stores and online.
Image: Brady Brand logo