In the world of professional sports licensing, one of the more widely maligned situations is the exclusive NFL license held by Electronic Arts for home console games. That's just one aspect of sports licensing, as organizations that stand as players unions are also able to license out the images and likenesses of athletes within the union, and that's what the NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) is doing in a new contest.

From March 20 through April 20, NFL Players Inc, the licensing and marketing branch of the NFLPA, is accepting entries from both independent developers and established studios to determine the "next big thing in mobile gaming." The pro football players union will select three finalists, each given the opportunity to pitch their game idea to the NFL Players Inc (NFLPI) executive board. The winner will be granted the NFLPA license for the 2014-2015 NFL season for use on mobile devices, though the announcement does not indicate that the license is on an exclusive basis. The license covers NFLPI trademarks and the "names, likenesses, uniform numbers, photographs, voices, replica signatures, and biographical information of active NFL players." Of course, without the separate NFL license, developers won't be able to include team names and logos in their games.

Additionally, NFL Players Inc will put forth $10,000 to market the winning entry via its "Activate" promotion platform, which streamlines the endorsement process for athletes on social media. Those interested in entering the contest can fill out the submission form (PDF) on the NFLPA's website.
[Image: NFL Players Association]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.