Patrick Mahomes Creeps Up on Tom Brady for Top Player Product Sales

After winning his second Super Bowl title in February, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes claimed the mantle from the retired Tom Brady as the top big-game signal-caller in the NFL. Now, he looks set to take another crown from Brady—this one in the sales department.

This past year, Mahomes generated the second-most NFL player product sales, according to the NFLPA’s year-end top-50 list. The five-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl MVP trails only Brady, who has been No. 1 on this list for the last three years.

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While Brady will remain one of the most popular football players in retail history, leveraging his fame through his own apparel brand, he is expected to drop from the top of the list largely due to lack of on-field visibility and a decrease in availability for NFLPA-licensed products focused on current players.

Brady’s marketing team plans to work with the NFLPA to create specific sunset clauses to retain some products in the market that were planned for this season before his retirement. It’s unclear how much and what kind of Brady inventory will be available.


“We’ll hand the reins over to [Brady’s team] to hopefully keep some of those deals moving forward directly as a former player,” NFL Players Inc. president Steve Scebelo said in an interview. “And then we’ll see people step up. It’s the same way you see on the field, people step up off the field sales wise, and the obvious player to keep eye on is Patrick Mahomes.”

Mahomes could officially snag the top spot in sales next year against other top retail performers in Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts—those three followed behind Mahomes to round out the top-five in product sales. The rest of the top 10: Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons, CeeDee Lamb, Russell Wilson and George Kittle.

NFL’s licensed player products include adult and youth jerseys, as well as everything from plush toys, bobbleheads and figurines to wall decals and pet products. This top-50 list, taken from sales between March 1, 2022, to Feb. 28, 2023, is based on both in-person and online sales from retail outlets through roughly 90 NFLPA licensees.

NFL players who are on an active roster for at least three games are eligible for the equal share payment, which went out to over 2,000 players last year. That base pool payment includes sales from these products as well as royalties from trading cards, EA Sports and more. In addition, top players can earn more from premium royalties through likeness products including team jerseys and bobbleheads. Some of those royalties go to the general pool, per the latest CBA agreement, while the specific player whose name is on the product retains the lion’s share of royalties.


Fanatics Inc., which has extended its licensing partnership with the NFLPA in recent years, has had a strong influence on how players connect with fans via e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales. The Michael Rubin-owned company regularly works with a range of sublicensees, such as Funko (NASDAQ: FNKO) which manufactures its own player collectibles.

The NFLPA also partners in various capacities with former and current players’ apparel and lifestyle brands including Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode, and currently is in talks with Baltimore Ravens safety Marcus Williams about his Marked as Winners brand. Scebelo said the union welcomes these opportunities with player-repped companies.

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