|The National Football League Alumni Association today announced a partnership with Athlete Brandguard, a Los Angeles-based sports culture and empowerment corporation that specializes in athlete development, life skills, sensitivity training and etiquette. The corporation was formed by NFL Alumni member Eric Davis and former NFL Network executive Marc Watts. Together they’ve created an educational curriculum to assist athletes in protecting their brands, maximizing their earning power, mastering athlete etiquette and safeguarding themselves against scandal. Brandguard is taught in a one or two-day seminar and is also available as a certified online course (www.athletebrandguard.com).
The partnership will include co-marketing opportunities for Athlete Brandguard to circulate its course materials on NFLA’s various media properties and social media platforms (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). The Athlete Brandguard training product will be offered to NFLA partners and members at a priority rate. Furthermore, under the agreement NFLA and Athlete Brandguard will participate in each other’s respective events to mutually benefit the partnership and growth of each organization.
“With enthusiasm and anticipation, we announce this partnership featuring one of the biggest names in pro sports to enhance development and teach athletes how to become better stewards of their careers which in turn benefits sports as an industry. Athlete Brandguard training will save careers. It will also save lives by providing athletes improved life skills training, better etiquette and crucial decision-making skills,” said Marc L. Watts, founder and CEO of Athlete Brandguard. “Our goal with the NFLA is to saturate the sports marketplace with this valuable tool, teaching athletes how to protect themselves, interact with media better, and how to deal with the constant challenges they face daily, on and off the field as sports plays a vital role in their development and society.”
Watts authored the Athlete Brandguard training curriculum with NFL veteran Eric Davis. Davis, who serves as Executive VP of Athlete Brandguard, played 13 years in the NFL, winning a championship in Super Bowl XXIX with the 49ers. “As athletes, we’re used to playbooks!”
“Athlete Brandguard is a playbook on how to deal with life. Everything I learned and experienced inside and outside the lines as a prospect coming up in Alabama, getting drafted, winning a Super Bowl with the 49ers, dealing with media, fans, finances, retirement, up to today was precisely weighed for relevance to today’s athlete climate and it’s included in that AB (Athlete Brandguard) playbook. We never got a ‘Brandguard’ or tangible insight into the actual ‘show’ we were characters in. Mistakes made now are costlier. That’s why today this training is so essential for an athlete, starting with high schoolers,” said Davis.
Davis partnered with Watts in 2012, laying out the framework and in writing the coursework for Athlete Brandguard. They teach it on stage directly to amateur/pro teams, summer camps and it’s also offered as a comprehensive online course on their website. Both men had front row seats to major sports scandals. Watts was CNN’s lead correspondent on the 1994 O.J. Simpson double murder trial. “We’ve both witnessed first-hand historical events which enabled us to produce the online course detailing how sports, media, law, success, pressure to win, social media, activism, money and mental health are all connected,” says Davis.
“NFLA is excited to team up with Athlete Brandguard to further our mission of ‘caring for kids’ and ‘caring for our own,’” said NFLA CEO Beasley Reece. “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s star athletes of the NFL and other sports leagues. To succeed in life means that you’re taught skills that extend far beyond your direct field of play. Marc and Eric teach those necessary skills and they do so in an environment that’s conducive to learning. By combining efforts, we can create exciting events, new forums for education, smarter student-athletes and beneficial ways to raise money and awareness for charity. This partnership also gives young men and women athletes the knowledge they need to succeed, long after playing days are over. In this generation with what’s on the horizon with the Fair Pay to Play Act, it’s essential we shine light on a dark spot regarding sports and raise the bar on athlete behavior.”