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Are you looking to learn as much as you can about the business of sports licensing? Then please read the 12 Part "An Insider's Guide to the World of Licensed Sports Products in 12 Parts: Practical Lessons from the Trenches" - all 12 parts of the blog can be found within this site. Click here to start with the Introduction.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

NFL Licensing and the Million Dollar (Royalty) Club

Greetings -

My name is Scott Sillcox and I am a consultant to people and businesses wanting to enter the licensed sports product business. If you are in need of information about sports licensing, I'm your guy and you should contact me at ssillcox@rogers.com . I wrote a 12 part blog on sports licensing and even though it was written in 2012, it has been updated and is still the definitive introduction to sports licensing anywhere out there - it's been viewed more than four millions times.

Today I'd like to tell you what I know about the NFL's Million Dollar Royalty Club.

NFL Licensing Million Dollar Club

For some years – I believe since 2000-ish - NFL Properties (the NFL's licensing arm) has been welcoming companies into what they call the “Million Dollar Club”. The Million Dollar Club is a group of companies who for the 1st time generated at least $1,000,000 in annual royalties for the NFL. When the NFL royalty rate was 10%, this meant a company had to have sold at least $10,000,000 worth of NFL merchandise in that year ($10,000,000 sales x 10% royalty = $1,000,000 in royalties). When the NFL rate increased their royalty rate to 12% in 2004-ish, this meant a company needed to sell at least $8,500,000 worth of product in a year to gain entry to the club ($8,500,000 sales x 12% royalty rate = $1,000,000 in royalties). And when the royalty rate increased to 14% in 2010-ish, it meant that a company needs to have sold at least $7,500,000 of product per year to gain admission to the "Million Dollar Club" ($7,500,000 sales x 14% royalty rate = $1,000,000 in royalties).

NFL Licensing Million Dollar Club

My company, Maple Leaf Productions, was an NFL licensee from 2000 onward and I was present each year when the NFL officials announced the newest members to the club as part of their annual Hardlines Summit (now called the Consumer Products Summit) held each March in a rotating NFL city (the first Summit was held in Green Bay in March 2003).

Sadly, I didn’t keep notes of who the various winners were for the first 10+ years, nor does the NFL publish the list in any sort of public forum, so forgive me for providing you with partial information. If you have information that you can share, I'd welcome your contribution!

I certainly recall that NFL licensing giants such as Wincraft and The Northwest Company were members of the club during the 2000 - 2010 era, but I would only be guessing from memory at some of the other licensees who gained admission at that time.

That being said, here is what I do know re companies that have made it to the lofty level of having generated at least $1,000,000 in royalties for the NFL for the first time. If you happen to know any winners prior to 2012 and can provide me with details, I’d be happy to update this post and give you credit.

NFL Licensing Million Dollar Club

2000 - 2010 Seasons

The Northwest Company

Named in March 2012 for the 2011 NFL Season

Named in March 2013 for the 2012 NFL Season

Named in March 2014 for the 2013 NFL Season
1. BDA
4. Pandora Jewelry (now exited from licensed sports products)

Named in March 2015 for the 2014 NFL Season

Named in March 2016 for the 2015 NFL Season
1. Aminco
2. Amscan (now exited from licensed sports products)

Named in March 2017 for the 2016 NFL Season

Named in March 2018 for the 2017 NFL Season

Named in March 2019 for the 2018 NFL Season

Named in March 2020 for the 2019 NFL Season

Thanks for reading and if you are looking for an online database of licensed sports product companies in North America, I have created a searchable online directory of most of the licensed sports products companies and key personnel in North America. This valuable resource can be found at: www.LicensedSports.net .

Thank you for your interest -


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Thank you for taking the time to add a comment - all input is welcome, especially the constructive kind! All the best - Scott