ROUND21 WINS NFLPA PITCH DAY FEATURING WOMEN- AND MINORITY-LED STARTUPS
- Six companies competed for access to funding, mentorship and NFLPA assets including group player rights -
WASHINGTON D.C., February 4, 2021 – The NFL Players Association and OneTeam Partners is proud to announce that sports lifestyle brand round21 won the fifth annual NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Pitch Day presented by Panini America, which spotlighted women- and minority-owned companies. Six startups pitched their products to an all-professional athlete panel for the opportunity to receive an NFLPA & OneTeam partners prize package. Launched in 2017, the NFLPA Pitch Day helps early-stage companies boost their businesses by aligning with athletes.
A sports lifestyle brand, round21 merges recreation with expression for today’s outspoken generation. Founder and CEO Jasmine Maietta will receive $25,000 in player marketing from the NFLPA, $25,000 in services from OneTeam Partners, consultation from integrated global marketing agency Allied as well as Microsoft business resources. The company provides athletes a sense of who they are with what they play by partnering with artists and creative talent to bring visual ideas to life on sports equipment.
“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 and our mission to make ‘standing out’ the new standard. We’re looking forward to further equipping this generation of diverse athletes with products that fuel their creativity as well as inclusivity,” said Jasmine Maietta, CEO & Founder of round21.
Hosted by NBA legend and businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson and moderated by entrepreneur and former NFL standout Justin Forsett, NFLPA Pitch Day featured an exciting roster of early-stage women- and minority-led companies. Armored Things Inc., Fangage, Just Women's Sports, Monarc, Naturade, and round21 each presented a founder’s story produced by OneTeam Partners, made their pitch, and participated in a live Q&A with judges including entrepreneur and retired NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo, WNBA All-Star and WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike, investor and NFL Pro Bowl receiver Golden Tate as well as WNBA veteran and member of the league's Social Justice Council Sydney Colson.
The judges also awarded select pitch companies a one-on-one business consultation, which provides an opportunity for the companies to connect with the athlete for an hour post-Pitch Day to ask questions and gain valuable business insights from the athlete-entrepreneur perspective. Round21 received one-on-ones from Nneka Ogwumike and Golden Tate; Naturade received a one-one-one from Sydney Colson and Brian Orakpo awarded his one-on-one to Just Women’s Sports.
Additional highlights during NFLPA Pitch Day included conversations with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, founder and CEO of grown Shannon Allen as well as NFL Players Inc. Board members entrepreneur and philanthropist Kathy Ireland and venture capitalist Jenny Abramson. VIP roundtables presented by startup business accelerator Ureeka featured NFL Players Inc. Advisory Committee members Isaiah Kacyvenski, Ryan Mundy and Marshall Newhouse as well as Ureeka co-founders Melissa Bradley and Dave Jakubowski and special guests Jenny Abramson, James Bernstrom and Randy Komisar. The Young Entrepreneur Award went to Kunal Gandhi a participant in Dallas Cowboys star Jaylon Smith’s Minority Entrepreneurship Institute. Gandhi is CEO of SimpL, a computer vision and machine learning based software that analyzes biomechanics to give users real-time feedback about how they perform exercises.