by Michael A. Scott, Esq.
The National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA), Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and RedBird Capital Partners (RedBird) have teamed up on a unique venture, titled OneTeam Partners LLC (OneTeam), to help boost image and likeness revenues for athletes through private equity. The NFLPA and MLBPA are no stranger to deriving revenues from image and likeness, however, the OneTeam partnership looks to pool revenues and "invest in projects that expand opportunities" for licensing. The deal is the first of its kind, with RedBird purchasing a 40% stake in OneTeam, while the NFLPA and MLBPA take ownership of the remaining 60%. It should be noted that the players will still collect their licensing fees, as determined by their respective collective bargaining agreements, but any amount left for the leagues will not be reinvested. OneTeam is in talks with other unions and professional sports leagues, with the hopes of expanding in the near future.