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, four of the players' significant others 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, the 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 Academy Sports + Outdoors headquarters.
"We want our players to continue their success beyond the football field," said Vice President of NFL Player Engagement Charles Way. "The boot camp will provide expert instruction to help them explore the consumer products industry as a way to not only build a business but also stay connected to the game we all love."
The boot camp will kick off with a Consumer Products 101 session led by NFL Vice President of Consumer Products Natara Holloway.
"The consumer products landscape delivers meaningful ways for our fans to connect with the game and show their passion for the teams and players they love" said Holloway. "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 Pro Football Hall of Fame QB and owner of MyFanClip Jim Kelly, who will share his story of transitioning from NFL player to entrepreneur and becoming an NFL licensee. Sessions on business planning, finance and budgeting, as well contracts, negotiations, intellectual property and product marketing will be led by Robert H. Smith School of Business faculty HANK BOYD and University of Maryland Entrepreneur in Residence Kenneth Jones. University of Maryland Senior Fellow Toby Egan and Jones 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."
-- NFL Communications