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How ONIT is trying to make college athlete trading cards work

Is this a sustainable path to athlete mailbox money? And cool cards?

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

A lot in the nascent NIL marketplace has gone pretty well…but one element that hasn’t developed as quickly as some athletes and industry professionals have hoped is revenue from group-licensed products. Mailbox money.

Athletes can opt into group licenses to sell jerseys, but I’ve been repeatedly told by those in the space that soft consumer demand, high prices, low royalties, and, distribution challenges have limited athlete revenue.

Athletes can also grant licenses for t-shirts or other apparel, and some have been very successful, but industry leaders and agents have told me that the most successful clothing campaigns require significant work from the athlete to sell them. They’re not passive products.

For most D-I athletes, even highly recruited ones at power conference institutions, the $600 bucks they earn from participating in EA Sports College Football 25 will be the most money they earn from any group-licensed product.

But clothes and video games aren’t the only potential group-licensed products. There are also trading cards…and one company thinks they’ve found a path to success by doing things a little differently.

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