In a new collaboration with USC alum and Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, the two parties have launched a limited edition apparel line. On top of the base compensation football players will earn through the deal, the team will also split the net proceeds from the sale of the merchandise.
Plans are set for athletes to wear the streetwear-styled clothing as USC travels to Utah for Saturday night’s top-25 matchup. Included in the line is a T-shirt, jacket, hoodie and hat. It’s an original product line from Smith-Schuster and features his signature on each piece of the clothing.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to earn income off my brand when I was at USC,” the NFL wide receiver said in a statement. “I wanted to find a way to get involved and support the team and Coach [Lincoln] Riley this season. These guys deserve to take full advantage [of their NIL], and I hope everyone enjoys the gear.
The USC ties with the apparel do not stop there, though. Each piece of merchandise was curated by Trojans supporter and alumni Brian Weitman. He owns the brand-building agency COZACK, which builds direct-to-consumer brands for influencers.
USC is off to a 6-0 start to the season and is ranked No. 7 in the country. Their toughest test so far this season comes in Salt Lake City on Saturday night against the 20th-ranked Utes.
“The team is actually wearing it on the plane to the game and on the bus to the game,” BLVD senior account director Spencer Harris told On3.
Friday’s announcement is just the latest in a string of opportunities BLVD has created for athletes. The collective has launched multiple content series which feature athletes. And it previously signed Fletcher Jones Motorcars as its official luxury car dealer.
BLVD continuing to find success with donors
Lincoln Riley’s fast start to his first year with USC has only helped BLVD’s crowdfunding initiatives.
When the collective launched this past summer, it set out with a goal of raising $75 million in five years — a number that appears to be within reach early on. In under three months, the collective dished out seven figures in deals. BLVD also reached eight figures of cash in the bank through donations and other ventures in the opening months, too.
According to Harris, the mix of strong alignment and on-field success has been key to BLVD.
“As we announced in June, took some time to build the process up and adapt to what we needed to. And really educate, I think this whole thing has been about educating USC supporters and alumni,” Harris said. “We’re definitely moving in the right direction. The wins definitely help and really the whole momentum around the program. We feel good about where we’re going with it.”
On its website, BLVD details the membership options fans have. There are five donor levels: Exposition BLVD ($50 monthly or $600 annually), Abbot Kinney BLVD ($100 or $1,200), Santa Monica BLVD ($250 or $3,000), Hollywood ($500 or $6,000) or Sunset BLVD ($1,000 or $12,000).