Jay-Z’s Paper Planes announces new partnership with NFL to create international tournament for youth

Paper Planes is leveraging its popular line of hats for a new partnership with the National Football League.

The nine-year-old streetwear label operated by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s Roc Nation revealed Wednesday it is teaming with the NFL to celebrate youth flag football. The brand is bringing together 10 teams from nations like Australia, Canada, China, Ghana, the U.S. and others to compete in the NFL Flag International Tournament in Las Vegas this weekend.

Along with the competition, Paper Planes is releasing a collection of its popular hats that will celebrate all 32 NFL teams. The hats will feature the Paper Planes signature logo, the NFL shield and each team’s branding. 

“Using fashion as our medium, we seek to empower people,” said Emory Jones, Paper Planes’ chief marketing officer and close friend of Jay-Z who helms the brand alongside president Ronnie DeMichael. “This partnership with the NFL brings together a community, united by their love of the sport and their desire to achieve greatness both on and off the field. The ability to transcend boundaries — to imagine, to explore and to achieve through meaningful collaboration — is at the heart of everything we do.” 

Hats have been at the core of Paper Planes’ business since the brand launched in 2014, when it was solely a hat label. The hats were first popularized by Roc Nation-signed musicians — namely Jay-Z — which helped garner interest for the accessory among streetwear enthusiasts. 

As the popularity of the hats grew, the brand expanded into more colors, prints and styles and in 2016 made its first foray into apparel. According to the brand, hats now account for only 35 percent of sales.


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