OneTeam Partners, which represents the commercial interests of more than 10,000 athletes, is realigning its executives and centralizing its business units under a plan approved at a board meeting yesterday. The changes include 10% of the 60-person company losing their jobs, according to multiple people who were not authorized to speak publicly about the moves. The layoffs targeted the sales staff, as the company focuses on its core licensing business.
Eric Winston, former president of the NFL Players Association and a former NFL player, will have expanded oversight of OneTeam’s group licensing business, including consumer products and college NIL. In addition, Lindsay Amstutz, who previously oversaw OneTeam’s content business, will now oversee an integrated marketing department that includes content, sponsorship sales, brand account management, creative, and athlete relations.
“The realignment of our leadership team will allow us to do more than ever for the athletes we represent,” Malaika Underwood, OneTeam interim CEO, said in a statement. “And over the course of the next few weeks, we will also grow our staff to support the realignment.”
OneTeam was launched in 2019 by the MLB Players Association, NFL Players Association and private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners. The founding premise was to help athletes maximize their intellectual property rights through group licensing, marketing, media and investing. OneTeam grew rapidly, and in addition to baseball and football players, it now represents players associations for MLS, the U.S. Women’s National Team, WNBA, NWSL, U.S. Rugby and esports’ LCS.
It also works with college athletes, partnering with trading card maker Panini, as well as e-commerce giant Fanatics, to produce customizable college football jerseys.
Last month, RedBird sold its 40% stake in OneTeam in a deal that valued the three-year-old business at $1.9 billion. PE firms HPS Investment Partners, Atlantic Park and Morgan Stanley Tactical Value invested into OneTeam on RedBird’s exit. It is not clear how the firms divvied up RedBird’s stake or if the MLBPA or NFLPA added to their holdings.
OneTeam, which had an initial valuation of $300 million, was a massive win for RedBird. Based on the deal valuation and RedBird’s estimated stake, the firm booked a profit of roughly $600 million, a return of more than 500%.
Valuations for OneTeam surged in lockstep with profits. Earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were initially about $40 million annually and have increased to $200 million.
“OneTeam shifted the paradigm,” DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA, said last month in a news release announcing RedBird’s exit. “Over the last three years, working with RedBird and our Players Associations, OneTeam tapped into the power of collective rights and achieved incredible results that have advanced the interests of thousands of female and male athletes.”
In June, Underwood was appointed interim CEO when founding CEO Ahmad Nassar announced he was leaving the company. Underwood was previously an executive in the licensing division of OneTeam.