NFL Invests in Apparel Brand NOBULL, Agrees to Scouting Combine Sponsorship
The NFL is investing in a new apparel and footwear brand called NOBULL, which will sponsor the NFL Scouting Combine.
According to The Athletic, the league voted last week to invest additional funds into the league's capital fund 32 Equity to then invest in NOBULL.
Since NOBULL's founding in 2013, the NFL has invested $96 million into the brand. The new injection, totaling about $160, will push that number over the quarter-billion mark.
32 Equity also invested in Fanatics, which has quickly grown to be one of the biggest names in licensed sports apparel, if not the biggest.
Through investment in NOBULL, though, the NFL is basically creating a new licensing body in sports apparel, especially by forming the sponsorship for the combine. This would also mark the brand's expansion into the football category, previously carrying items relating to swimming, running, golf and CrossFit.
What also makes this interesting is that it's a direct moneymaker for the NFL, as any exposure NOBULL receives from its combine sponsorship and any subsequent athlete endorsement deals, that directly benefits the owners as investors.
According to The Athletic, combine participants will be required to wear NOBULL apparel and headwear, with an option for footwear, while they participate, so anyone who watches the combine will see the brand pretty frequently. In person, NOBULL is putting up a branded warm-up center at the facility in Indianapolis, and is also doing some sort of branding around the registration, recovery and lounge areas.
This doesn't mean NOBULL is suddenly going to knock off Nike and Adidas to be the most sought-after sports apparel brand for athletes. But it's always interesting to see a new player come into the game, and it will be interesting to see how big NOBULL goes with its branding through more than just apparel.
No doubt the NFL owners will want all of the exposure they can get. It directly helps their bottom line, after all.