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MEASURING THE GROWTH OF THE LICENSED APPAREL BUSINESS
Published February 22, 1995
With labor strife and an apparent change in tastes "by some fickle consumers," marketers in the $10B sports licensing industry are asking if the "boom days are over," writes Terry Lefton in the current issue of BRANDWEEK. Aside from the damage caused by labor unrest, licensed apparel "seems to have lost some of the cachet that made it a fashion" over the past few years. Authentic and replica jerseys are now the only licensed apparel showing double digit growth. The Sports Authority Chair Jack Smith: "There was a change in direction by consumers even prior to the labor unrest. It's moved from licensing to a completely different look, an outdoor look, with brown shoes instead of sneakers and rather than a team shirt or jacket with them, it's a red flannel plaid shirt" (BRANDWEEK, 2/20 issue). THE LICENSEES: Lefton notes that larger companies are moving in the licensing business, while smaller companies may be getting pushed out. Most pro sports leagues are eliminating their lower tier licensees. And companies such as Apex and Logo 7 that grew because of their licenses have "sale rumors swirling" around them (BRANDWEEK, 2/20).