POSITION: VP Licensing
ABOUT THE NBPA & THINK450
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Established in 1954, the NBPA’s mission is to protect and support the rights and talents of our players, magnify the power of their collective will, and amplify their voices as leaders who will transcend sport and society globally.
The NBPA advocates on behalf of the best interests of all NBA players, including by, among other things, negotiating the collective bargaining agreement, administering benefit programs and grievances on their behalf, enhancing their NBA experience, and helping prepare them for life after the NBA. Business opportunities are generated by THINK450, the for-profit subsidiary of the NBPA charged with managing the players’ group licensing rights. For more information, visit THINK450.com.
THINK450 is the innovation and partnership engine of the NBPA, dedicated to uncovering shared interests between the 450 players and leading brands to build more engaging partnerships. Together with its partners, THINK450 creates original ideas that engage fans, stir them to action, and earn brands the right to participate in cultural conversations.
The licensing function will be responsible in part for over 85% of company revenues. The VP Licensing must work in alignment with the THINK450 Chief Commercial Officer to set brand perceptions and strategy in the creation of consumer products that not only appeal to players and fans but are considered viable and profitable for third party licensees. The role must successfully manage the existing licensees that currently hold group license rights alongside NBA licenses, as well as develop new revenue growth opportunities. The licensing revenue is the driver for NBPA/THINK450 funding, and this position will play a key role in driving the business.
The VP, Licensing works closely with the Chief Commercial Officer to set departmental strategy and goals, with vision and a player-focused mindset, the role is responsible for managing a global portfolio of licensees and developing diverse category of products that best represent the NBA players. This position plays a key role in supporting revenue growth and licensing initiatives to support the NBPA’s and THINK450’s financial and strategic goals. The ideal candidate will be able to lead multiple licensing and merchandising initiatives across various products categories. They will be a strategic thinker, collaborator, and have a track record of success in consumer product licensing, both domestic and international.
LOCATION: New York, New York
DEPARTMENT: THINK450 - Licensing
REPORTS TO: Chief Commercial Officer
SALARY RANGE: $230K-$250K
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:
- Manage portfolio of global partners, working closely with Chief Commercial Officer to drive partner strategy, maximize revenue and advocate for NBA players in product and marketing development.
- Identify new licensing partners and product categories. Research, pitch and negotiate deals for new contracts. Explore both traditional and non-traditional opportunities.
- Accountable for the product development of all consumer products. Ensuring the product quality meets all industry standards and NBA Player brand requirements.
- Work closely with licensees as well as retailers to develop appropriate marketing activities for consumer product launches which align with company objectives.
- Work internally and with licensees to allocate marketing dollar expenditures to appropriate THINK450 sanctioned events and initiatives.
- Work with THINK450 legal on all matters relating to the licensing of NBA Player rights to third party manufacturers including contract negotiation and the policing of unofficial licenses goods in the marketplace
- Ensure licensee compliance of all contractual terms (i.e., adhering to payment schedules, approval procedures, meeting key marketing terms).
- Provide valuable input on operating procedures to ensure increased productivity, deliver consistent results, and better systems for growth for the consumer product licensing department.
- Collaborate effectively across the organization and garner support from internal teams to support business needs.
- Leverage data-driven insights to provide support to key stakeholders including for quarterly board meetings and executive committee meetings.
- Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business or related field required.
- Master’s degree a plus
- 10+ years business development and consumer product licensing experience
- Command of retail math and analyzing sales data
- Ability to develop and implement business development strategy built around brand and player insights.
- Ability to properly navigate complex contractual negotiations and work with legal counsel as required
- Ability to articulate informed point of view and influence across the organization.
- Excellent communication skills with all levels of executives, management and staff - in person, on the phone and in writing.
- Must have ability to develop and maintain relationships with a focus on closing deals.
- Advanced working knowledge of Microsoft Office Applications including Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and Keynote or InDesign presentation skills would be a major plus.
- Leadership and management of business development through strategic thinking and excellence in execution.
- Disruptive thinker, who challenges others to think differently and innovate in service to business goals.
- Capacity to thrive in a fast-paced environment, manage multiple work streams and meet tight deadlines.
- Strong problem solving, relationship building, and negotiation skills.
- Passion for sports and experience working with sports teams and/or leagues preferred.
- Superior decision-making skills with the ability to translate into an executable strategic plan.
- Professional character and attitude in dealing with partners, stakeholders and co-workers.
- Positive attitude and flexible approach in dealing with adversity and conflict.
- Extremely motivated person with strong business acumen who thrives in an entrepreneurial environment.
APPLICATION: Please email your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate “VP Licensing” in the subject line of your email. No telephone or LinkedIn inquiries please. THINK450 will respond to those candidates whose qualifications are best aligned with the components of this job description and will continue to review resumes until the position is filled.
Salary will be commensurate with experience. THINK450 offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes paid leave, medical, dental, and vision insurance and a 401(k) plan with matching employer contributions. Proof of vaccination and booster, if eligible, will be required.
THINK450 is an equal employment opportunity employer. THINK450 will consider all qualified applicants with no regard to the applicant’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, citizenship status, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, weight, disability, or any other status protected by New York or Federal anti-discrimination law.