Inside The Huddle: Group Player Rights with Steve Scebelo

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In the buildup to Front Office Sports’ Brand Marketing Huddle at the LA Stadium Premiere Center on July 11, we’re introducing you to the huddle leaders who will be lending their expertise to the conversation.

Today, meet Steve Scebelo: Vice President of Licensing & Business Development at the NFLPA. Scebelo will be one of the leaders of the huddle titled “Standing Together: The Power of Group Player Rights”. After nearly three decades in the sports industry, Scebolo describes his entrance into the industry as “fate”.

READ MORE: Inside The Huddle: Using Sports to Drive Business Goals with Paul Beckles

“My first job out of school was with Citibank, and after a colleague there left for a job working in the data center at Major League Baseball, he called out of the blue to let me know there was an opening in MLB’s licensing department. He knew I was a sports fan and that I worked in marketing, so I took that lead and made a case for myself, winning the job and starting my career in sports. Just a good lesson to always maintain good relationships, as you never know who might help open an unanticipated door for you.”

Scebelo has increased domestic and international merchandise licensing revenues for world-class brands. His past projects include directing the $500 million North American retail licensing program for The Coca-Cola Company and extensive work in sports licensing via management positions at the NBA, the 1996 Olympic Games, and Major League Baseball.

In his current role, Scebelo oversees business development, licensing and marketing operations, which includes leading a team responsible for representing the intellectual property for a group of more than 2,000 current NFL players, plus a roster of more than 70 digital, apparel, and hardlines licensees responsible for $1.6B in retail sales.

Scebelo is also the president of REP Worldwide, the first-of-its-kind group player representation business that provides licensing and brand management services to athlete-driven sports properties like the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association, Women’s National Basketball Players Association, Major League Soccer Players Association, and US Rugby Players Association.

READ MORE: Inside The Huddle: Brands & Sports Marketing with Sean Brown

Scebelo would encourage those interested in sports as a career path to educate themselves on all of the various potential disciplines within the sports industry to find the one right for them. This includes communications & social media, team marketing, player marketing & representation, licensing and more.

“See if there is one discipline that really resonates with them as a place they would like to start,” Scebelo says. “Then map out who they might know to help them get started on that path – teachers, colleagues, family members, etc., anyone who is in your network and can help you get one step closer. Seek out internships. Many of our star performing interns at the NFLPA have been able to move into full-time roles. And once anyone is fortunate enough to land a role in sports, they should plan to work as hard as the athletes they admire, and to give all the effort those athletes give in terms of preparation and performance on every assignment.”

Meet Steve and hear more of his thoughts on the current brand marketing space at the Front Office Sports Brand Marketing Huddle at the LA Stadium Premiere Center in Los Angeles, CA on July 11. For tickets and additional info, click here.