PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON D.C., April 28, 2014 – Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks finished the NFL Players Inc. (NFLPI) fiscal year ranked #1 on the Top 50 Player Sales list, based on total overall sales from March 1, 2013, through February 28, 2014. Wilson jumped 18 spots from #19 in FY13 to claim the top position from the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning, who maintained his retail sales power and is ranked second. NFLPI licensees generated retail sales exceeding $1 billion during the year.

Russel Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo: seahawks.com) -

Russel Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo: seahawks.com) –

Wilson is joined on the list by his teammates, running back Marshawn Lynch (#7) and cornerback Richard Sherman(#12). Lynch, the only non-quarterback in the top 10, jumped 22 spots from #29. Sherman, a player not in the top 50 even at the start of the fiscal year, made his debut at #12.

Nine of the top 10 players on the list are quarterbacks, including six Super Bowl champions: Wilson (#1), Manning (#2), the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (#5), the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady (#6), the New York Giants’ Eli Manning (#8), and the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees (#10). The San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick(#3), who jumped 12 spots from #15, the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III (#4), and the Indianapolis Colts’Andrew Luck (#9) round out the top 10.

The list, released quarterly by NFLPI, the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Association, is based on total overall sales of all licensed products from online and traditional retail outlets as reported by more than 70 NFLPI licensees such as Nike, VF Imagewear, Fanatics, Outerstuff, Fathead, McFarlane Toys, Oyo Sportstoys, Bleacher Creatures, Forever Collectibles and Photo File. Licensed product categories include men’s, women’s and youth game jerseys and t-shirts, player murals, figurines, matted and framed photos, bobbleheads, drinkware, jewelry, electronic device accessories, among others.

Additional highlights:

·         Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive back Troy Polamalu ranks in the top 20 for a third straight year (#2 in FY12, #5 in FY13, #17 in FY14).
·         Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly made his debut on the list (#50).
·         Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is the highest-ranked defensive player (# 11)
·         Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews (#14) and the San Francisco 49ers’ Patrick Willis (#16) represent the only linebackers in the top 20.
·         Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is the highest-ranked pass catcher (#15).

NFLPI Top 50 Player Sales Rankings (FY14):

1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
3. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
4. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
6. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
7. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
8. Eli Manning, New York Giants
9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
10. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
11. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
12. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
13. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
14. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
15. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
16. Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers
17. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
19. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
20. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
21. Victor Cruz, New York Giants
22. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
23. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
24. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
25. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
26. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
27. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
28. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
29. DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys
30. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
31. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
32. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
33. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
34. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys
35. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
36. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
37. Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
38. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
39. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
40. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
41. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
43. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
44. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
45. Von Miller, Denver Broncos
46. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
47. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
48. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
49. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
50. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers

In conjunction with the top 50 player rankings, NFLPI announces new licensing agreements with the following companies:

·         Athlitacomics– publishing company founded by current Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije will create and develop comic books featuring NFL player stories.
·         FBF Originals – premium sock and footwear accessories featuring cutting-edge player designs.
·         From The Bench – NFL player-based sports game for mobile digital platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, and the web.
·         Masterpieces Puzzle Company – customized real wood craft puzzle sets featuring player images, with a variety of titles ranging in difficulty and themes.
·         New Era – NFL player headwear line for men, women and youth, supported by related NFL player-identified advertising & promotion.
·         Original Retro Brand – vintage t-shirt collection featuring NFL players co-branded with classic logos from over 100 major universities.

About NFL Players Inc.
NFL Players Inc. is the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. NFLPI has been a trusted resource since 1994, delivering access to the influence, power and personal stories of NFL players. NFLPI is a “one-stop shop” for businesses seeking licensing rights, access to players through hospitality and events, marketing strategy and player procurement. For more information, please visit nflplayers.com.

Media Contact:
David Cooper
212-938-1299/dcooper@coynepr.com

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