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 ensure that the rights of NBA players are protected and that every conceivable measure is taken to assist players in maximizing their opportunities and achieving their goals, both on and off the court. Whether it is negotiating a collective bargaining agreement, prosecuting a grievance on a player’s behalf or counseling a player on benefits and educational opportunities, the NBPA advocates for the best interest of all NBA players.
A big success of the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA, is that the NBPA has retained their own group Licensing Rights, effective July 1, 2017. As such, the NBPA established THINK450, a for-profit Licensing and Marketing business wholly owned by the NPBA and its members, the Players. This entity will work to maximize revenue, among other areas, through various commercial licensing, marketing and sponsorship endeavors, content creation and distribution, and owned and operated events.
There are three main objectives for THINK450:
1. Giving the players more control over the way their names and likenesses are collectively used in licensing, sponsorship and marketing relationships;
2. Ensuring that the Players are properly compensated, in comparison with other North America professional Team Sport athletes, for the use of these personal rights, and seeking increased payments on a yearly basis; and
3. Providing multiple new business opportunities for players to collectively commercialize their likeness and names, and monetize the intellectual property of the NBPA, which will provide incremental revenue for the players.
THINK450 is responsible for the revenue production, growth and sustainability of both its own business, as well as funding the NBPA’s operations. THINK450 is a growth business. The NBPA and its members have never been better positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the areas of sports, media, technology, and sponsorship. Overall, this is an exciting time for the NBPA to grow its business and prominence as a steward for its members… WE ARE PLAYERS FIRST!
Reporting directly to the Head of Content, the Senior Vice President /Vice President of Brand Partnerships is responsible for setting the strategic direction of THINK450’s Brand Partnership efforts. The executive will build the overall sales strategy and partner with all business units to ensure that all business development initiatives are in-line with that strategy, including those for THINK450/NBPA branded special events such as One Court, Camps, Annual All-Star Winter Meeting; Annual Summer Meeting; and Draft Reception. Duties include prospecting, pitching and negotiating complex contracts. The individual will also be required to work closely with the EVP of Licensing, VP of Marketing and other key internal stakeholders to ensure proper execution and player engagement for all partnerships.
The position requires a creative thinker and someone with the ability to close and hit defined revenue benchmarks. The individual must also have a proven track record of success in multiple facets of business development. The individual must have competencies in strategy development, managing a team, negotiating, project/account management, brand sponsorships, the sales process, building strategic alliances and relationships, P&L creation, brand and player relations, and program execution.
In addition, it will be important to understand the sports industry and the various ways it can intersect with other industries within the context of these six (6) pillars: 1) Original I.P., 2) Brand Collaborations, 3) Business Development, 4) Sponsorships, 5) Player Endorsements, and 6) Product Placement & Seeding.
% OF TIME
|Serve as brand steward and revenue generating member of the THINK450 leadership team providing innovative and critical thinking to drive the THINK450 business forward. Execute all business development functions worldwide including: prospecting, pitching and negotiating. Must also develop and maintain a weekly/monthly status report and “scorecard” of deals and prospects to present/distribute to THINK450 senior management team. Proactively communicate with VP of Player Marketing to ensure that players, agents and licensees/sponsors are connected on and in-line with all partnerships. Network & collaborate with key stakeholders across THINK450, NBPA, Players, external brand partners, media partners, etc. to support priority projects and ensure everyone’s focus remains on the mission of being players first.||40%|
|Partner with EVP of Licensing to develop insights-driven revenue-generating, business development strategy with a heavy focus on driving value for the players across the six (6) key pillars of: 1) Original I.P., 2) Brand Collaborations, 3) Business Development, 4) Sponsorships, 5) Player Endorsements, and 6) Product Placement & Seeding. Manage budget and other resources for maximum efficiency.||20%|
|Support the EVP of Licensing and Licensing team’s efforts as needed in strategy development, prospecting and deal negotiations.||20%|
|Serve as the point person to all new sponsorship opportunities. This includes managing the relationship with A1Partners/Dentsu, Inc and any other external agencies and freelancers engaged to generate new business. In addition, engage cross-functional teams internally to cultivate new business strategies and executions.||20%|
BASIC QUALIFICATIONS (Education/Technical Knowledge Required):
Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business or related field required.
Master’s degree a plus.
JOB EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS REQUIRED (Years and Type of Specific Experience):
10+ years business development, athlete/talent management, licensing and brand partnerships experience.
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.
Demonstrated experience in bringing concepts to life through written presentations.
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.
Self-starter, will take initiative with new projects with ability to make cold calls.
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.
Ability to create and sell memorable and disruptive brand experiences and activations.
Know how to connect brand insights plus player insights and apply within an authentic cultural context.
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.
This job description only provides an overview of job responsibilities that are subject to change.
Please apply at careers@THINK450.com
THINK 450 is an Equal Opportunity Employer