SBD/Issue 155/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Five-Tool Player: Craftsman Teams With MLB On Licensed Products

Craftsman Has Inked Six-Year
Licensing Deal With MLB

Sears’ Craftsman brand has inked a six-year licensing deal with MLB that allows the company to feature the logos of the league and its 30 teams on tools, storage units and garden equipment (THE DAILY). In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports the line of tools "will be available online in time for Father’s Day gift purchases." Assuming "positive sales results," Sears hopes to have the officially licensed products "in its 3,900 stores in time for November and December holiday shopping." Distribution will initially be "limited to Sears," but MLB Senior VP/Licensing Howard Smith said that he "would like to expand distribution to and the various team-operated stores across the country." Sears under the agreement "gets the rights to use team, league, All-Star Game and World Series marks on tools." Craftsman VP & GM Kris Malkoski said that a "prior arrangement with the NFL for logoed tool sheds and boxes was a hit." Lefton notes marketing efforts for the new line will include a media tour by former MLBer Curt Schilling, "point-of-sale, Sears circulars and e-mail ads to the 6 million members of Sears’ 'Craftsman Club.'" MLB "hopes there’s an opportunity to sell additional kinds of licensed product through Sears locations." The lawn and garden side of Sears "recently has moved into MLB marketing, branding grounds crews through team sponsorships" with the White Sox and Mets. But "for now the licensing and sponsorship deals are not linked" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/26 issue).

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