Jasmine Maietta is a true entrepreneur, living by the motto: everything I have, every chance I get. Driven by her entrepreneurial soul and armed with decades of experience working with athletes, artists and entertainers that all share a love of sports, she identified a gap in the marketplace and jumped on it.   


The founder of round21, a lifestyle brand fusing art and sports, came to NFLPA Pitch Day with a persuasive proposition: athletes want to express their individuality and identity, and what they play with – the football, the basketball, the soccer ball – has been a blank canvas. Maietta narrowed in on that opportunity and formed a consumer products & goods startup that partners with artists and other creative talent to bring visual ideas to life on sports equipment.  

Pitch Day has been a platform for diverse entrepreneurs, from traditionally underrepresented groups, to be seen and heard in a room full of some of the brightest minds in the sports industry. Often without a seat at the table, disruptive startups and founders showcase their innovations and can engage with investors, VC groups, professional athletes and sports business leaders that have the ability and resources to make things happen.  

Due to the state of the pandemic, Pitch Day 2021 was held virtually. Maietta took the proverbial stage to present alongside several other startups all vying for the same opportunity. In the end, Maietta’s company was named the winner. “NFLPA Pitch Day was one of the moments when we realized we made it to the start line, because expectations will only continue to elevate, but we’re here for it for many years to come.”  

Greatness in Hand

Winning Pitch Day was only the start. Since that game-changing win, they became an official licensed partner of the NFLPA. Maietta has been able to accelerate product development and expand round21’s product line to serve the diverse NFL fans. Through group licensing with the NFLPA, she featured six of some of the greatest and most iconic NFL players on products and strategically sought out players that represented diversity: geographically, socioeconomically and racially. With access to such players, round21 has been able to establish a unique connection with NFL fans, which has helped in the creation of exclusive, one-of-a-kind products as well as commemorative collectibles.

Within a year of their Pitch Day win, round21 entered basketball, football, ping-pong and soccer, and grew the artist collective. The boost from the NFLPA as a strategic partner became an indicator for additional partnerships with other sports leagues including the WNBA, the NBA and the MLS. “We’re able to serve the broad community of football and other sports fans, and that’s only been possible by the NFLPA providing that level of access.”  

The company has grown since taking the Pitch Day stage. In 2021, round21 had one partner and one product—the ping pong paddle. Now, there have been over 75 product releases with over 30 athletes across multiple teams, leagues and players’ associations. The company’s growth is thanks to many different factors, but Maietta explains that round21’s NFLPA Pitch Day win lit an undeniable spark.    


Connecting Fans with Players 

More recently to kick off the 2023 NFL season and the Bears v. Packers game, round21 hosted an event at the Navy Pier in Chicago. The event was a live painting exhibition where some of the round21 artists were able to showcase their talents. Each artist picked a Chicago Bears player and was tasked with painting a representation of the player’s story off the field. Maietta also recounts the honor of working directly with the NFLPA on the newest All-Pro Team awards. round21 created custom footballs for all the awarded players for the 2022-2023 season.   

Fans have responded positively to round21’s partnerships and activations with NFL players. As part of the NFLPA relationship, round21 is committed to being a platform for NFL athletes to tell their story on the ‘canvas of sport’. As an example, the round21 x NFLPA Derrick Henry football, by artist Dwight White, is an exciting new product for the Tennessee Titans fans. Looking ahead, the NFLPA and round21 are focused on the 2023-2024 season to drive collectibles through art x sport. 

Standing Out

Maietta says her brand is distinct because it practices, promotes and celebrates diversity allowing any lover of sport to participate in expressing their own version of creativity. “I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to pitch my business to major leaders and business owners in the sports industry. It’s truly an honor to have the NFLPA’s support behind round21. We’re looking forward to further equipping this generation of diverse athletes with products that fuel their creativity as well as inclusivity.”  


For the latest from NFLPA partners, players, news and updates, remember to follow and connect with us on LinkedIn.