Ohio State Buckeyes: Group licensing agreement paves the way for official merchandise featuring current players

School, current players, and likely soon former ones, across all sports can profit off sales of official apparel thanks to deal.

Ohio State football fans will be able to buy officially licensed jerseys with the names and numbers of current players following an announcement by the school Tuesday morning.

Previously, such items were available on the black market but not via officially licensed channels or at the team shop.

For many years, Ohio State sold officially licensed jerseys without names on the back. In those years, varying numbers would be available from year to year, and they typically coincided with a player or players who were expected to be among the top contributors for that season.

In 2015, the school announced a change in policy and began selling jerseys with only the No. 1 or the last two digits of the current year (i.e. ‘15′ in 2015).

The announcement this week means the school and the player can profit off the sales of this officially licensed apparel thanks to a group licensing agreement.

All sports are included in the new arrangement, which is the latest product of rules changes made last month to allow players to profit off their name, image and likeness.

Per a release from Ohio State, the program will begin by offering jerseys and then grow to include merchandise such as video games, apparel, trading cards and bobble heads.

Players must opt into the program, which is being overseen by The Brandr Group.

OSU associate athletics director Cary Hoyt called this a unique opportunity for student-athletes.

“We are passionate about educating and providing opportunities for student-athletes to take advantage of their name, image and likeness,” Hoyt said in a release, “and co-branding them with Ohio State’s official trademarks and logos is going to be an exciting new way for them to monetize their NIL.”

As with other NIL opportunities, the university will not represent athletes in potential NIL deals, but Ohio State will approve or disapprove the use of its trademarks on items.

Per the school, athletes will also be able to individually approach Ohio State trademark licensees about deals, but some may be limited in their ability to engage because of exclusivity arrangements or other restrictions.

Former Buckeyes also likely will be able to get involved with this program as The Brandr Group has already launched a group rights program for alumni with some schools.

That will allow marketing opportunities for former players who wish to co-brand their NIL with the university’s trademarks and logos.

Ohio State indicated it is expected to combine its alumni athlete licensing program, Legends of the Scarlet & Gray, to the TBG program in the near future.

In the past, Ohio State has licensed a handful of jerseys with names of former players.

Ohio State is scheduled to begin preseason practice Wednesday morning.

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