Lids and KLUTCH Sports Group Launch a First-of-Its-Kind Basketball NIL Partnership
New Partnership, Each Company’s First NIL Pact, Will Have Product Available In Stores Nationwide
NEW YORK CITY (November 8th, 2022) – Last week, in a first-of-its-kind collaboration for global sports retailer, Lids, the company has teamed up with KLUTCH Sports Group to partner on a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deal with some of the biggest up-and-coming names in basketball. The five student-athletes featured in this partnership are Brea Beal, Dereck Lively II, Chris Livingston, Nick Smith Jr., and JuJu Watkins.
“To join forces with KLUTCH Sports Group on an innovative partnership for both of our companies is incredibly exciting,” said Lawrence Berger, Co-Founder and Partner at Ames Watson, owner of Lids, and Chairman of FanzzLids Holdings. “They’re the preeminent name in sports representation and the perfect partner for this endeavor. We’re proud to have these young men and women, the future of basketball, as part of the Lids family as they excel on and off the court for years to come.”
Each athlete was given the creative freedom to design their own custom embroidery and had the opportunity to work with the Lids design team to bring their personal style to life. The exclusive product collaboration, which will be available in stores with embroidery machines across the country, goes on sale beginning November 2nd with Chris Livingston’s design. From there, each week through November 23rd will feature the debut of a new student-athlete’s design. A complete schedule of the rollout can be found below.
- Week 1: Chris Livingston (November 2)
- Week 2: Dereck Lively II (November 9)
- Week 3 Brea Beal (November 16)
- Week 4: Nick Smith Jr. (November 21) and JuJu Watkins (November 23)
“We’re proud to represent these student athletes as they pursue NIL opportunities across the board,” said Rich Paul, Founder and CEO KLUTCH Sports Group. “For our first collaboration of the sort to be authentic to the sports world and to do it with a brand as iconic as Lids, we couldn’t be prouder. This partnership allows our athletes to showcase and embrace their creativity, while also approaching the business of NIL in a holistic and meaningful way.”
See below for more information on each of the student-athletes.
Brea Beal is a senior on the defending NCAA Champion University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball team.
- During the 2021-22 campaign, she held her primary guard below her season average in points 29 times, including eight games at least eight points below average.
- Beal was a 2019 McDonald’s All-American and 3x Illinois Miss Basketball.
- Embroidery design inspiration: Embracing my femininity and athletic ability.
Dereck Lively II is a freshman at Duke University and was the No. 1 overall player in ESPN 100’s rankings for the class of 2022.
- Dereck was a 2022 McDonald’s All-American and competed for Team Final on the Nike EYBL circuit during the summer of 2021, leading them to a Peach Jam title.
- Lively’s mother, Katherine, played basketball at Penn State from 1988-92 and scored 1,295 career points during her collegiate career.
- Embroidery design inspiration: The importance of family, upholding the legacy of my family name, as the second, and carrying on the legacy for the next generation.
Chris Livingston, a freshman at the University of Kentucky, was a consensus five-star, top-tier recruit out of high-school powerhouse Oak Hill Academy.
- Livingston was named the 2022 Gatorade Virginia Player of the year and subsequently a 2022 McDonald’s All-American and to the Jordan Brand Classic roster.
- Chris was named MVP of the 2019 FIBA Americans U16 Championship after leading Team USA to a gold medal.
- Embroidery design inspiration: Representing my family, where I’m from, Akron, OH, and how I grew up.
Nick Smith Jr. is a freshman at the University of Arkansas and was the #1 ranked recruit according to the website 24/7 Sports.
- The combo guard was a 2022 McDonald’s All-American and 2x Arkansas Player of the Year.
- He played in the 2022 Jordan Brand Classic and was named co-MVP, scoring 27 points with four assists and three rebounds.
- Embroidery design inspiration: Representing where I am from, my love for the game and the characteristic of stealth like a ninja
JuJu Watkins is a senior at Sierra Canyon High School and one of the top overall players in the class of 2023.
- As a junior, she was the 2022 MaxPreps National Player of the Year and the 2022 Gatorade California Girls Player of the Year.
- Watkins is a two-time USA Basketball U17 Gold Medalist and a two-time championship MVP.
- Embroidery design inspiration: Representing my family and where we’re from, Watts, CA.
Lids Sports Group is the largest licensed sports retailer in North America, selling fan and fashion-oriented headwear and apparel across North America, Europe and Australia through over 1,500 retail locations. Indianapolis-based Lids Sports Group carries officially licensed and branded gear aimed at empowering customers to represent their unique and individual style, team, passion and fun. Lids Sports Group operates stores under the Lids, Locker Room by Lids, Fanzz, Yankees Clubhouse Shops, Dodgers Clubhouse, Cardinals Clubhouse, and numerous other nameplates. Lids also counts the National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) as partners as it runs several of each league and team’s respective U.S. and international Flagship store locations. Lids also has locations within select Macy’s department stores nationwide. To find a retail location near you visit blog.lids.com or join the #LidsLoyal on Instagram (@lids), Facebook (@lids), Twitter (@lids), or LinkedIn.
About KLUTCH Sports Group
Founded in 2012 by CEO Rich Paul, KLUTCH Sports Group is a premier agency representing some of the world’s biggest athletes across major professional sports. Minority-owned and women-led, KLUTCH’s unique, 360 approach helps clients at any stage of their career maximize opportunities across the rapidly changing entertainment, media and business landscape, and provides strategic support in partnerships, branding, communications, social responsibility and more. With proven expertise in the intersections of sports, entertainment and culture, KLUTCH connects top teams, major leagues and properties with global brands. In 2019 KLUTCH partnered with UTA, and in April, KLUTCH was recognized on TIME Magazine’s first-ever list of TIME100 Most Influential Companies.
UTA is a leading global talent and entertainment company that represents many of the most acclaimed figures across film, television, news, music, sports, speakers, theater, fine art, literature, video games, podcasts and other social and digital content. The company also is recognized in the areas of film finance and packaging, branding, licensing and endorsements, and is known for its dedicated digital media group.