• Amobi Okugo

Marshawn Lynch & E-Commerce

Marshawn Lynch just signed a sports merchandising apparel agreement for his apparel company with Fanatics, making it the first ever deal to happen with an athlete. Marshawn Lynch’s apparel line, Beast Mode, is an ode to his nickname based on his tremendous play and persona during his career in the NFL.

According to the deal, Lynch will have a revenue split model. This is a game changer for athletes who are looking to make business moves based on their brand and apparel.

Why is this so important? Not only because athletes are seeing the benefit of having an E commerce platform but the necessity of building a logo and apparel brand but also the importance of the need to protect your likeness and trademarks of your logo, slogans, phrases, etc.

As E-commerce continues to grow and the ability for platforms like Fanatics and Shopify to help with scaling and operations, athletes can create a direct go to market strategy that allows them to touch their fanbase and audience. There is money to be made for athletes in the E Commerce arena, but without protection you can fall down a slippery slope.

We’ve seen case study after case study of athletes working with brands to come up with different merchandising campaigns only to lose the rights to their logo in the process. Marshawn Lynch has the ability to work with Fanatics but then move on if he doesn’t want to renew his partnership and still keep his rights to his apparel company.


This is the leverage and protection athletes need as they continue to find ways to maximize their window of influence.

The very first thing an athlete should do when working with anyone or anything merchant category is get their products and ideas protected. You can start by consulting with Attorney Sivonnia DeBarros of the SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC for a business audit to determine where you're unprotected in your business.


This article was written and provided as a courtesy of Amobi Okugo, a pro-soccer player and founder of A Frugal Athlete (AFA), an online media and consulting platform that promotes prudent financial practices and smart career decisions amongst professional and student athletes. AFA offers services like financial coaching, revenue generation, and ideation strategy. Visit their website for further information.


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