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Nearly 20 current and former NFL players such as Darren Waller (New York Giants), DK Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks), Bud Dupree, and Derwin James (both free agents) joined the roster of Interscope Records’ partnership with the NFL for the Career Tours Program on March 21 (Tuesday), per The Hollywood Reporter.

The NFL veterans gathered in Santa Monica, California gaining knowledge to enlarge their brands for life outside of football. Dupree was one of many leading panels with Q&A discussions on various topics including music, marketing, producing, and taking on new talent. 

Interscope’s Senior VP of Sports and Gaming, Dave Nieman detailed the label’s relationship with the NFL saying, 

“Over the years, Interscope has done a great job of having a relationship with the NFL and the networks, but we wanted to take a second to make sure that the players were taken care of as well.”

Photo + Rich Polk

In order to create an effective theme for the meet, executive VP and head of visual creative’s Michelle An provided her insight on career brand building, 

“If you’re doing a brand deal, it’s really important to make sure it doesn’t feel like some brand just gave you money and you’re a pawn,” she said. “You have to be assured of your own brand for it to look like it’s a partnership.”

An added, 

“When your brand is strong, you make it easy for the fans. And when you make it easy for the fans, that’s when you start creating super fans.”

Waller, who was recently traded from the Raiders to the Giants, explained his opinion on how music and sports intersect for his producer interests, 

“I’m an artist and a producer myself, and I want to know more about how to market myself, how record labels cultivate artists, and how to apply it to my own journey,” he said. “[There are] so many different ways to be in the music space and to have this level of inclusion and get this level of information. A lot of people can’t do that.”

Steve Berman, Darren Waller and John Janick + Rich Polk

Tracy Perlman, the NFL’s senior VP of marketing and communications said that choosing between 18-20 players was a “sweet spot” for the event, 

“[Interscope has] the same philosophy we do. We are player-first and they are artist-first. Everything we do is about value to the player,” she said. “The whole scope of this program is to give players insight so that they can say, ‘This is for me, I want to pursue it,’ and now they have the network to continue the conversation.”

Photo + Rich Polk
Clockwise from top left: Miles Sheft, Interscope Geffen A&M Records; Steve Wyche, NFL Network; Joe Barkside, retired; Robert Turbin, retired; Janoris Jenkins, San Francisco 49ers; Ashley Smith, NFL; Alex Wright, Cleveland Browns; Jordan Fuller, L.A. Rams; John Janick, Interscope; Michael Woods, Browns; Tracy Perlman, NFL; Tamba Hali, retired; Steve Berman, Interscope; Nicholas Petit-Frere, Tennessee Titans; Keith Taylor Jr., Carolina Panthers; Julius Chestnut, Titans; Torry Holt, retired; Godwin Igwebuike, Seattle Seahawks; Natasha Zemlin, Interscope; Ray-Ray McCloud, 49ers; David Nieman, Interscope; John Kevane

According to Sports Illustrated, nearly 4 out of 5 former NFL players either go bankrupt or suffer severe financial distress within two years of retirement.

Emil Flemmon

Èmil Flemmon is the Managing Editor for the 360 Baseline Movement. The Atlanta-based editor, red carpet interviewer, writer, and photographer, has had a career spanning over a decade in the editorial industry. His work has been featured in Kontrol Magazine, The Atlanta Voice, Blavity, Aspire TV, REVOLT, The Jasmine Brand, and Where Y'at Magazine in New Orleans. His mission is to help journalists and publicists have better connectivity and relationships exclusively through the movement.

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