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NFL Retired Players

CQ Partners Members are Making a Difference in the NFL Community

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For over a decade, CQ Partners has been developing an important relationship with the NFL Players Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation that has made a big impact in the NFL community. Not only does this relationship provide critical hearing healthcare to former NFL players, but it offers an opportunity for CQ Partners members to associate with one of the most influential brands in sports.

Here’s are more things you should know about what this partnership means for both CQ Partners members and former NFL players:

The NFLPA and PAF Provide Critical Resources for Players

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is a union that protects the interests and health of both current and former NFL players. The union was formed in 1956 after players collected to demand improvements to their working environment like safer equipment and clean uniforms. The NFLPA is the gold standard when it comes to unions for professional athletes because of the exceptional way they’ve organized themselves to protect the players and the fact that they include retired players.

The Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF) was created in 1990 by former NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw to help former players as they transition out of playing football. The PAF is a charitable arm of the NFLPA that provides medical, educational, and financial assistance through the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust Fund.

Throughout CQ Partners’ relationship with the NFLPA and PAF, we’ve learned that the NFL isn’t always so glamorous. There wasn’t always the incredible amount of money, marketing, advertising, and television exposure that there is today. Some of the retired players did not receive the tremendous contracts that you’d expect for players in 2023. Even some of today’s players struggle with receiving viable contracts, or see roadblocks that come from transfers, cuts, and injuries. The NFLPA and PAF ensure that players have access to the care and resources that they need and have different levels of access that include different services, one of them being hearing healthcare.

CQ Partners Connects Members with Former Players

CQ Partners is the exclusive provider network for the hearing healthcare education and solutions of the NFLPA’s PAF. We connect patients in need of hearing care with the providers who can help them. Since 2011, we’ve partnered with the PAF to bring better hearing to former professional athletes and their fans across the nation. CQ partners fits current and former players with hearing aids, educates them on the importance of better hearing, and discusses the impact it can have on their life. In addition to providing free hearing healthcare services, CQ Partners aims to spread awareness and break down the barriers that prevent people from seeking hearing care.

CQ Members Attend Events Across the Country to Help Players

CQ Partners members have the opportunity to help former NFL players in multiple ways. Throughout the year, the PAF and the Living Heart Foundation put on four to five VIP health screenings in different major cities. These events include a variety of different health services for the athletes including blood tests, cardiac testing, neurological consulting, nutrition counseling and more. We attend events with member practices who are local to the area of the event and test former players’ hearing, as well as fit them for hearing aids when needed. We’ve attended events in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Jackson, Birmingham, Los Angeles, and more. Event locations for 2023 include Washington, D.C. and Seattle.

Another opportunity to treat players members have is in their office. If a player expresses the need for hearing healthcare, there is a process where they reach out to CQ Partners and then we get them into the into their local provider’s office. CQ Partners is also looking to create future opportunities within major cities that have large NFLPA chapters. These opportunities would be more focused screening events for hearing health.

Hearing Healthcare Changes the Lives of Former Players

For a lot of people, hearing loss is a very misunderstood topic. It makes people nervous, and they develop a stigmatized view around hearing loss and hearing aids. For players, it’s comforting to be able to go through their union, an organization they know and trust, to be connected to CQ Partners and our network of trusted providers. Then they have the ability to get these life-changing hearing aids that are paid for by the PAF. The cost of hearing aids can be prohibitive for former players, and ordinarily may not be an available treatment for them. CQ Partners members and the PAF make it possible for these athletes to enjoy their life through better hearing again. Whether it’s hearing their family again, or an improvement in their social lives, being treated for hearing loss has a huge impact on their quality of life. CQ Partners members also remove some of the stigma surrounding hearing loss and hearing aids by education former players and their families on causes, solutions, and assuring them that hearing loss happens to people of all ages.

CQ Partners Members Gain a Beneficial Affiliation

The affiliation CQ Partners members have with a brand like the NFL Player’s Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation is priceless. It is highly reputable organization that that trusts its’ players with CQ Partners member practices, which speaks to their quality and expertise in hearing healthcare.

This partnership is also a major opportunity for practices to spread awareness about hearing health through a famous, nationwide community. The potential reach that our members have is astounding. NFL players, who are seen as very strong and almost invincible individuals, can be affected by hearing loss too. It’s powerful for the world to see that.

Treating Players is Meaningful for Members

The athletes are so friendly, and they love to talk to us. It’s interesting to get to know them and discuss the teams they’ve played on, who their favorite team is, what their favorite city is, and about their lives. You get to learn how they got to the NFL and what a huge dream it was to play professionally. We have never had a bad experience with a player. In fact, every interaction we’ve had has been overwhelmingly positive. They’re extremely grateful to their providers, and they seem to have a great camaraderie with one another. Whenever they’re together, they have strong respect for each other, which I wonderful to experience. Being around these players and interacting with them reinforces our shared purpose of helping people hear better.

The strong relationship CQ Partners has built with the NFL Players Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation has proven to be incredibly meaningful for both the players and CQ Partners members. Our members have the exclusive opportunity to change the lives of professional athletes by helping them hear better, which reminds us all of our core mission and the importance of hearing healthcare.

CQ Partners offers its members exclusive partnerships and resources like these that elevate their brands and support the success of their practices. Opportunities like these are just one of the many ways CQ sets your practice apart from the competition.


About the Author

Brenna Richardson

As CQ Partners’ Director of Operations, Brenna Richardson is passionate about providing the most value to every CQ member, employee, and partner. Brenna has been with the company since 2011 and brought with her a diverse repertoire including experience in retail and the beer industry. Her experience, commitment to the success of CQ Partners members, and solution-oriented mindset helps take CQ’s solutions to the next level. She loves being able to work with a company that helps hearing healthcare professionals by growing their businesses and providing them with the necessary tools to succeed.