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NFL players to participate in 'NFL Boot Camp: Consumer Products'

Fifteen current and former NFL players -- including Baltimore Ravens WR Torrey Smith, and Pittsburgh Steelers veterans Plaxico Burress and Shaun Suisham -- will take part in the first NFL Boot Camp: Consumer Products from March 2-5 in Baltimore.

The boot camp is one of several training programs for post-NFL careers that NFL Player Engagement offers to current and former players. In addition, two wives of players will participate as part of NFL Player Engagement's Women's Resource Initiative aimed at engaging the women who support the players.

The program -- developed jointly with NFL Player Engagement, NFL consumer products department, and the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business -- offers an in-depth look at the consumer products industry for players looking to transition into the business. The boot camp is run in conjunction with the annual NFL Consumer Products Summit, which participants will attend to interact with NFL licensees and the trade show experience. Participants also will take on a Group Pitch Project, competing in teams to develop and deliver a product pitch to a panel of NFL executives and industry experts. The presentations will occur on the final day of the program, hosted at the Under Armour headquarters.

"We seek to prepare our players for career opportunities after their NFL playing experience. This boot camp provides a solid foundation for navigating the consumer products industry," said Troy Vincent, senior vice president of NFL Player Engagement.

Participating players represent a broad range of interests and experience within the consumer products industry. Phillip Buchanon, an 11-year veteran, is developing a concept for an educational board game that teaches life skills and money management to children. Burress has launched a luxury sock line, The Plaxico Burress Collection. Arizona Cardinals long snapper Mike Leach and his wife Julie are building Potty Pals, which assists parents and children during the toilet training process.

The boot camp will kick off with a Consumer Products 101 session led by NFL senior vice president of consumer products Leo Kane and NFL vice president of consumer products Natara Holloway.

"The consumer products landscape is complex, but very important as it delivers meaningful ways for our fans to get closer to the game and show their passion for the teams and players they love" Kane said. "We are excited to work with players and provide an inside look at the consumer products business."

Several NFL licensees will present to the participants including 13-year NFL veteran and president of G-III Sports Carl Banks, who will share his story of transitioning from NFL player to entrepreneur and becoming an NFL licensee. Sessions on business management, financial planning, and product marketing will be led by Robert H. Smith School of Business faculty members Hank Boyd and John LaPides. LaPides and University of Maryland Entrepreneur in Residence Harry Geller will serve as mentors for the participants.

"Since my formative years, I have been a fan of the NFL," said Dr. Boyd of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. "As an educator, I am honored to assist NFL Player Engagement in this worthwhile endeavor which enables players to transition into viable entrepreneurial pursuits."

Players will be live blogging throughout the program, documenting their experience on Following is a list of participating players.

-- NFL Communications

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