For Immediate Release
January 30, 2019
NFLPA Media Contact: Brandon Parker | Brandon.Parker@nflpa.com
NFLPI Media Contact: David Cooper | David@mvppr.com
NFL Players, Incorporated Adds Kathy Ireland and Jenny Abramson to Board of Directors
NFL Players Association's For Profit Marketing and Licensing Arm Marks 25th Year Anniversary With Pioneering And Powerful Women Entrepreneurs
Wednesday, January 30th, 2019; Atlanta, GA Super Bowl LIII - NFL Players, Incorporated announced that supermodel-turned-super mogul Kathy Ireland® and successful venture capitalist Jenny Abramson will join its board.
Ireland, founder of kathy ireland® Worldwide (kiWW®), one of the world's most powerful brands, has been on the cover of Forbes twice (2012, 2016) and is one of the most influential women in licensing and fashion. kiWW® generates billions in sales and Kathy's addition to the NFL Players, Inc. board will help NFL players exceed their revenue objectives through marketing and licensing.
In addition to her success in the board room, Kathy and kiWW® support many non-profits including serving as an Ambassador for the YWCA Greater Los Angeles, and as an Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, the Dream Foundation, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids/AEF and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Kathy is a strong advocate and supporter of the fight to end human trafficking in the U.S. and around the globe.
"We are thrilled to have someone like Kathy Ireland join our board," said NFLPA Executive Director and Chairman of NFL Players, Inc. DeMaurice Smith. "Kathy Ireland's experience in leveraging her early career in the fashion industry into an iconic licensing business empire with kiWW® will be invaluable to support the work of our players. The fact that her family is rooted in unions with her father’s ties to California’s farmers is another reason why she is a natural fit."
“I am delighted and honored to join the board of directors for NFL Players, Inc. and work with some of the world’s best athletes," says Ms. Ireland. "My company's experience in entrepreneurialism and licensing we believe, will be very helpful to the board and our players. Without question, the NFLPA is a legendary organization that offers opportunities to players at every level. It is our responsibility to protect these extraordinary athletes and to expand their earning potential while on the field and after it. Too often, the licensing industry has focused on an athlete during their playing career. This is a great loss. As we leverage all of our relationships in retail, entertainment, technology, and finance, we believe the opportunities for NFLPA life members are greater in 2019 than ever before. Being prepared for life off the field is not that different than the career of a model when the catwalk and covers end. We will work together as a board to generate a continuous stream of excitement as we move forward representing and protecting the rights of our players. We are one team!"
Jenny Abramson is a tech CEO turned venture capitalist. She’s the Founder & Managing Partner of Rethink Impact, a venture capital firm investing in female entrepreneurs using technology to solve the world’s greatest challenges. According to Forbes magazine, Rethink Impact is the largest VC in the country dedicated to investing in women and has backed a wide range of businesses across sectors and the nation.
“Jenny is a visionary business leader, and we are proud that she is bringing her ideas to how we approach our business ventures,” said NFLPA Executive Director and Chairman of NFL Players, Inc. DeMaurice Smith. "As we continue to look for creative ways to generate revenue and address the challenges facing both male and female athletes, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can help support our REP Worldwide initiative with the U.S. Women’s Soccer National team, Women’s NBA players and other athletes around the world. There is arguably no one more qualified to guide us than Jenny.”
Abramson added, “NFL Players, Inc. has built an amazing platform for helping male and female athletes leverage their brands and intellectual property. I look forward to working with the board and the players to find new and creative ways to continue to amplify the power of these leaders in today’s evolving technology and media landscape.”
About the NFL Players Association:
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.
About Kathy Ireland
kiWW® is listed as one of the most powerful brands in the world by License Global Magazine. Kathy Ireland® is named one of the 19 most influential women in licensing by License Global magazine and according to Fairchild Publications, Kathy Ireland® is one of the 50 most influential people in fashion. Furniture Today names Kathy one of the most influential leaders in the furniture industry. Kathy graces the cover of Forbes Magazine twice (2012, 2016). kiWW® is responsible for billions of dollars in retail sales. kiWW® is the recipient of multiple awards including several Good Housekeeping Seals. Kathy and kiWW® support many non-profits including: YWCA Greater Los Angeles, for which she is an Ambassador, Dream Foundation, Providence Educational Foundation, 911 for Kids/AEF, and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Kathy is named an Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
About Jenny Abramson:
Jenny Abramson (@abramson) is the Founder & Managing Partner of Rethink Impact, a venture capital firm that invests in female entrepreneurs using technology to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. She has been covered in Forbes, on CNN, in The New York Times, and in The Washington Post, interviewed on Squawk Box, featured at the Code Conference, at the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill, and was named Top 40 Under 40, a DC Power Women in Tech and a DC Tech Titan. Previously Jenny served as CEO of LiveSafe, a mobile security company focused on preventing school shootings and sexual assaults. She also held leadership roles at The Washington Post, Personal (a data tech company), The Boston Consulting Group, D.C. Public Schools, and Teach for America.
Jenny received bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors from Stanford University, an MBA with honors and the Dean’s Award from Harvard Business School, and was a Fulbright Scholar at The London School of Economics. Jenny sits on four private sector boards and four nonprofit boards, including Brig Owens' Super Leaders and Georgetown Day School (where she serves as Chair). In her spare time, she enjoys hip hop dancing and coaching the 3rd-grade girls' soccer team.
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