Griffin III Tops NFL Jersey Sales as Player Revenue Jumps

Robert Griffin III and social games contributed to the National Football League Players Association’s licensing arm generating a record $46.4 million in revenue, a $10 million bump over the first three quarters of the last fiscal year.

NFL Players Inc. added 22 licensees from last year, including eight in the multimedia category. More companies want the right to use player images without having to pay the NFL for the use of team and league marks, said George Atallah, a union spokesman.

“Our marketing and licensing arm is making it easier than ever for licensees to obtain valuable group player rights,” he said in a telephone interview.

The social gaming category produced the largest single-year jump in new licensees, Atallah said. The union last month announced an agreement with Gree Inc., the social-network game site operator headed by Japan’s youngest billionaire, 35-year-old Yoshikazu Tanaka.

Nike Inc. became the official supplier of licensed NFL apparel this season, replacing Reebok International Ltd.

Griffin, the rookie quarterback who helped lead the Washington Redskins to the playoffs, topped the list of on-line and in-store jersey sales. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was second, followed by Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Tim Tebow of the New York Jets and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

Rounding out the top 10 were Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Eli Manning of the New York Giants.

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