– Rankings include all NFL player-identified merchandise and products sold by 80+ official NFLPA licensees via online and traditional outlets, with retail sales exceeding $1.6 Billion –
– Highlights include: 10 players jump from 2016 Rising 50 to Top 50 list; Elliott becomes first rookie to lead year-end Top 50 list; Elliott and teammate Dak Prescott represent the first time rookies have held top two spots on list; Tom Brady leads five retail categories, including kids jerseys –
WASHINGTON (May 3, 2017) – A new precendent was set today, as Ezekiel Elliott became the first rookie to finish the year atop the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Top 50 Player Sales List at the end of the 2016-17 season. The list is based on total sales of officially licensed NFL player merchandise, tracking year-end results from March 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017.
The Dallas Cowboys running back made the leap from the No. 6 spot on the NFLPA’s predictive 2016 Rising 50 list – which seeks to identify the next crop of NFL marketing stars – to the top spot on the year-end Top 50 sales chart.
“It’s pretty humbling,” Elliott said. “When you’re a rookie, you’re just looking to put your head down, help the team, and learn the ropes. To accomplish this level of success off the field shows just how passionate football fans are in Dallas, Ohio, my home state of Missouri and all around the world. And to be up there with Dak and Dez, alongside great players like Tom Brady and Odell Beckham, is very special to me.”
Elliott wasn’t alone in his quick rise to the top of the year-end player sales list. His quarterback, Dak Prescott, finished the year-end list in the No. 2 spot, moving up six spots at the end of the third fiscal quarter.
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots checked in at No. 3 on the list, after holding the top spot through the end of the third quarter, with another Cowboy – Dez Bryant – ranking fourth, and the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. rounding out the top five.
Quarterbacks again were well-represented on the year-end NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales List, with a total of 19 represented – including six in the top 10. Following Prescott and Brady, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks (No. 6), Philadelphia Eagles rookie Carson Wentz (No. 7), Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers (No. 8), and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers (No. 10).
Wide receivers were the next most represented position, with 17 players. Defensive players (9), running backs (3), and tight ends (2) rounded out the list of the fiscal year’s best-selling players.
In addition to Elliott, nine other players made the jump from the 2016 Rising 50 list to the Top 50 Player Sales List: Todd Gurley, Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, DeAndre Hopkins, Carson Wentz, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jarvis Landry, and Stefon Diggs. The 2017 edition of the Rising 50 List will be announced in May.
Once again, Seahawks players were strongly represented, with five players in the Top 50, a feat they accomplished the entire fiscal year. The Cowboys also put five players on the list – and did so for the third straight quarter – all of them landing inside the top 15, with Jason Witten and Tony Romo joining Elliott, Prescott and Bryant. Five teams saw three players land on the list: the Patriots, Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings.
The Top 50 Player Sales List is released quarterly by the NFLPA, via its licensing and marketing arm NFL Players Inc., and is based on overall sales of all NFL player licensed products via online and traditional retail outlets as reported by more than 80 NFLPA licensees, including Fanatics, Nike, VF Imagewear, Outerstuff, Forever Collectibles, Funko, Fathead, Hallmark, McFarlane Toys, OYO Sports, FBF Originals, Wincraft and more. Licensed product categories include men’s, women’s and youth game jerseys and T-shirts, wall decals, figurines, toys, matted and framed photos, vinyl collectibles, bobbleheads, ugly sweaters, plush dolls, drinkware, socks, mobile gaming, virtual goods, holiday ornaments and novelties, among others.
Powered by officially licensed player-identified products sold through online and traditional retail outlets, NFLPA licensees generated retail sales exceeding $1.6 billion during the year. The NFLPA currently ranks as the 37th largest global licensor according to License! Global.
Highlights from the NFLPA’s fourth quarter (December 1, 2016-February 28, 2017):
- The top two player spots were swapped in jersey sales, with Dak Prescott finishing first, followed by Ezekiel Elliott.
- Six players who finished outside the overall Top 10 player rankings actually ranked within the Top 10 in apparel sales: Julio Jones, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, Witten, Antonio Brown and Julian Edelman.
- Elliott led sales of McFarlane Toys figurines with more than 10,000 units sold.
- Brady sold the most Funko Pop! vinyl figures, as well as the most Bleacher Creatures plush dolls; Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan trailed only Brady in plush doll sales.
- Brady also was tops in player-identified kids tees and jerseys from Outerstuff.
- Wentz generated the most bobblehead sales by Forever Collectibles, as well as sales in bracelets, keychains, and lanyards by Aminco International.
- Aaron Rodgers topped sales of Hardlines category, followed by Elliott, Brady, Beckham Jr., Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Prescott, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and Bryant. Rodgers was also No. 4 in MacFarlane Toys/Madden Ultimate Team figures.
- Beckham Jr. was No. 1 in sales for collegiate and NFL player wall murals from Fathead, as well as ceramic banks from new licensee, FABNY.
- Jameis Winston led sales in collegiate sports photo collectibles from Photo File.
1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
2. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
3. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
4. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
5. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
6. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
7. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
8. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
9. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
10. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
11. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
12. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
13. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
14. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
15. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
16. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
17. Khalil Mack, LB, Oakland Raiders
18. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
19. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
20. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
21. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
22. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
23. Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
24. Richard Sherman, DB, Seattle Seahawks
25. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
26. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
27. Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
28. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
29. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
30. Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
31. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
32. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
33. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
34. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
35. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings
36. NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers
37. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
38. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
39. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
40. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
41. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
42. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
43. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
44. Harrison Smith, S, Minnesota Vikings
45. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
46. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
47. Kam Chancellor, S Seattle Seahawks
48. Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Jets
49. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
50. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
*Team listed indicates player’s team for sales during the 2016 season
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.
About NFL Players Inc.
NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing arm of the NFLPA, connects businesses to the power of NFL players. NFL Players Inc. creates customized business solutions for partners, through licensing, marketing strategy and player activations. For more information, please visit nflpa.com/players.
Jenna Sobray, NFLPA
Brendan Prunty, Coyne PR
firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-938-0168