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National Football League Kicks Off 'Leaders' Program to Diversify Retail Licensing Portfolio

NFL is taking new bounds to increase brand awareness. Photo: @NFL
NFL is taking new bounds to increase brand awareness. Photo: @NFL

In a groundbreaking move, the National Football League (NFL) has introduced 'Leaders,' a pioneering retail program designed to broaden its licensing spectrum by collaborating with brands, creators, and artists from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities. This initiative offers businesses the unique opportunity to obtain coveted NFL licenses, allowing them to produce and sell products adorned with official league marks and logos. The inaugural roster of Leaders' licensees includes Blitz Champz, Distortedd, Hedley & Bennett, and S.T.A.B.L.E. Goods.

Xaimara Coss, NFL's Director of Licensing, expressed excitement about the program's potential to welcome new and dynamic retail partners, showcasing diversity beyond the league's conventional offerings. These partners will benefit from NFL resources, including support in product development, marketing, and retail placement.

The Trailblazing Brands Under Leaders:

Blitz Champz: Founded by Adrienne Smith, a football advocate and Boston Renegades wide receiver, Blitz Champz is a Black-owned card game offering a fresh take on NFL team designs that capture the essence of each of the league's 32 teams.

Distortedd: Helmed by visual artist Anhia Zaira Santana, Distortedd, a Latina artist and animator, has created a striking t-shirt and hoodie collection that reimagines NFL team mascots and logos through an artistic lens.

Hedley & Bennett: A Los Angeles-based, female-owned kitchenware company founded by Ellen Bennett, Hedley & Bennett aims to inspire creativity in every kitchen. With an NFL license, the brand will produce NFL-themed kitchen accessories.

S.T.A.B.L.E. Goods: Founded by Rashad Lyons, S.T.A.B.L.E. Goods, an independent luxury luggage brand, draws inspiration from urban culture. As part of Leaders, they will craft NFL-themed luxury bags, including duffel bags, cross-body bags, and backpacks.

Jonathan Beane, NFL's Senior Vice President, and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer emphasized that 'Leaders' is a vital continuation of the league's commitment to supporting diverse companies across all facets of its business. The NFL's collaboration with No Caller ID, a marketplace for diverse brands and artists, adds an extra layer of depth to the program's impact.

Merchandise created under Leaders will be available on, marking a significant step towards expanding the league's influence and resources to a broader audience.

For additional details on the 'Leaders' program and its licensees, visit](

This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.


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