Watson, Williams to attend NFLPA Rookie Premiere


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WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 – Forty top rookies from the 2017 NFL Draft class will gather in Los Angeles from May 18-20 to learn the business of football at the 23rd annual NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Rookie Premiere, presented by Panini America. More than 20 NFLPA business partners will be on site to engage with the latest group of promising NFL stars to create unique brand content, secure endorsement deals and promote licensed products through group player rights.

The multi-day event is hosted by the NFLPA via its marketing and licensing arm NFL Players Inc. The 2017 NFLPA Rookie Premiere will also feature one of the most anticipated moments for the rookies – donning their official Nike team uniforms for the first time during a photo shoot at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the NFLPA’s exclusive trading card licensee, Panini America.

“The NFLPA Rookie Premiere is the foundational event for our NFL/NFLPA licensed trading card products each year. It's the first opportunity for us to photograph the top 40 most collectible rookies in their NFL uniforms,” said Mark Warsop, Chief Executive Officer, Panini America.

NFLPA Rookie Premiere is the first major business event following the NFL Draft, where players will gain insights and make connections that will assist in the development of their careers. Participating players will also go through a brief orientation which will highlight the union’s programs and services.

The roster of NFLPA partners activating includes: Panini America, Fanatics, Fanatics Authentic, Nike, EA SPORTS, Pepsi, New Era, FedEx, Staramba, WHOOP, Delta Private Jets, FedEx, élevée, Bridgestone, Lyft, NFL Extra Points, Gatorade, Tostitos, Anheuser-Busch, and Proctor & Gamble brands. Additionally, during Saturday’s photo shoot, rookies will enjoy services offered through the NormaTec Recovery Zone including massage therapists and a Mophie phone-charging station.

Among those expected to participate are (based on draft order): Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina, Chicago Bears), Leonard Fournette (LSU, Jacksonville Jaguars), Corey Davis (Western Michigan, Tennessee Titans), Mike Williams (Clemson, Los Angeles Chargers), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford, Carolina Panthers), John Ross (Washington, Cincinnati Bengals), Pat Mahomes (Texas Tech, Kansas City Chiefs), Deshaun Watson (Clemson, Houston Texans), O.J. Howard (Alabama, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame, Cleveland Browns), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Southern Cal, Pittsburgh Steelers), Davis Webb (California, New York Giants), James Conner (Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers) and Josh Dobbs (Tennessee, Pittsburgh Steelers). For a complete roster click here.

Athlete Content & Entertainment (ACE Media), the athlete-driven content and production business of the NFLPA, will be on site producing a variety of campaigns, features and series with a range of media distribution and brand partners. In an NFLPA Rookie Premiere first, ACE Media will also be producing fantasy football content featuring Matthew Berry interacting with the players in attendance.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our players and partners to interact in an intimate setting,” said Ahmad Nassar, president of NFL Players Inc. “For 23 years, NFLPA Rookie Premiere has been the foundation of players learning about the business and benefits of their union, as they begin their journey into the league. Putting their personalities and passions on display in front of the right brands, allows their stories to spread to a wider audience, while reinforcing what the NFLPA is about – benefitting the players.”

Launched in Los Angeles in 1994, NFLPA Rookie Premiere has been a pioneering event in professional sports, providing business partners with unparalleled early access to the newest group of the NFL’s most marketable young stars. Each year, the NFLPA facilitates more than 100 individual player service deals for Rookie Premiere participants. The event also generates numerous business opportunities for current and former players.

Media and fans can follow Twitter (@NFLPA), Facebook (NFL Players Association), Instagram (@NFLPA) and NFLPA Snapchat stories, and via #RookiePremiere for updates, exclusive photos, video, and news throughout 2017 NFLPA Rookie Premiere.

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