Eminem, Diplo, Mac Miller Among 30 Artists Designing NFL Team Shirts

Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Governors Ball
Mac Miller performs onstage during 2016 Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island on June 4, 2016 in New York City.  

Here’s a collaboration you don’t see everyday. In time for American football season, the NFL, Teespring and 30 music artists — among them Diplo, Eminem, Fall Out Boy, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jason Mraz and OneRepublic — have partnered to produce a line of co-branded team t-shirts, priced at $25 a pop and launching Wednesday (Sept. 28).

The aim is to capture fans who love both football and music and want to support local talent. (In most cases, artists were paired with their hometown teams.)

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The collaboration was organized by Teespring, a five-year-old, venture-backed online platform that enables users to buy and sell custom-designed t-shirts on-demand. While anyone can use the service, for the past couple of years the company has been actively partnering with entertainment artists – most famously Beyoncé — to change the way they do merch, allowing them to quickly release and sell new designs to fans without having to run any inventory risk. The startup now has a 12-person team dedicated to such partnerships, according to Stu Smith, head of music and entertainment.

The project began with a far more modest idea — to pair a single music artist with his local or favorite NFL team — and has since ballooned to include nearly every team in the NFL. The shirts bear different levels of branding: Mraz’s shirt for the San Diego Chargers has his name and a line drawing of his face plastered on the front; while the Frank Sinatra design for the New York Giants is more subtle, with the singer’s signature fedora capping the city’s name.

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Speaking of Sinatra, participation in the design process varied among artists, with some — and the late Sinatra really had no choice in the matter here — delegating the entire responsibility to Teespring’s in-house design team via the direction of their managers or estates, and others “taking pen to paper in the back of a tour bus,” as Walk The Moon did, says Smith.

The t-shirts will be available for purchase exclusively on Teespring.com for two weeks. Artists will receive a cut of each sale made through the partnership, with some opting to donate the profits to charitable causes, Smith says, adding that the company has not set specific sales goals. “Because we’re not printing a whole bunch of shirts [ahead of time], we’re really looking to tap into that demand that we see from fans who love both football and music,” he explains. “Ultimately it’s about empowering the artists to create real value and make their fans happy… with a really special, really unique product a fan couldn’t get otherwise.”

Here is the full list of partners:

All Time Low – Baltimore Ravens
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Cleveland Browns
Daughtry – Carolina Panthers
Dierks Bentley – Arizona Cardinals
Diplo – Philadelphia Eagles
Dropkick Murphys – New England Patriots
Eminem – Detroit Lions
Fall Out Boy – Chicago Bears
Fergie – Miami Dolphins
Florida Georgia Line – Tennessee Titans
Fort Frances – Indianapolis Colts
Frank Sinatra – New York Giants
Goo Goo Dolls – Buffalo Bills
Jacob Whitesides – Tennessee Titans
Jason Mraz – San Diego Chargers
Jerry Garcia – San Francisco 49ers
Jon Batiste – New Orleans Saints
Kiss – New York Jets
Lecrae – Atlanta Falcons
Linkin Park – Los Angeles Rams
Mac Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers
Melissa Etheridge – Kansas City Chiefs
OneRepublic – Denver Broncos
Tedeschi Truck Band – Jacksonville Jaguars
Trampled by Turtles – Minnesota Vikings
Underoath – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wale – Washington Redskins
Walk the Moon – Cincinnati Bengals
YG – Los Angeles Rams
ZZ Top – Houston Texans


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