SBD/Issue 181/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Strolling Down The Catwalk: Yankees Unveil New Apparel Designs

New Line From MLBPA 
Features Designs From Yanks 

The MLBPA yesterday at Yankee Stadium unveiled new designs in its emerging Players Choice Signature Series from six Yankees players. Expanding on a test effort last year with six Mets players, new hats, jerseys and T-shirts designed by CF Curtis Granderson, RF Nick Swisher, 1B Mark Teixeira and Ps Joba Chamberlain, Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia were modeled by the players themselves, hours before they went on sale at stadium stores. While much more personalized than standard licensed team merchandise, the Yankee players' contributions to the Players Choice Signature Series remained generally more conservative in their styling than last year's debut Mets merchandise, or forthcoming gear from players from the Phillies, Twins and this year's Mets squad. General trends among the Yankees' contributors were to incorporate the N.Y. skyline, the World Series trophy and event logos, and reproductions of personal tattoos. "We were so impressed with the designs," said MLBPA Dir of Retail Development and Category Dir for Apparel Nancy Willis. "They all stayed true to the heritage of New York and the Yankees. The other teams are a bit more out there." Design sessions were held during spring training with the players, with follow-up refinements conducted via e-mail. "This is so cool. It's a reflection of everyone's personalities and it definitely shows up in the results," Swisher said. Beyond availability in stadium stores and on MLB.com, the union also is expanding the program this year to include an exclusive partnership with Modell's in the N.Y. and Philadelphia areas. Yankees SS Derek Jeter and 3B Alex Rodriguez were not included in the program, as the union and its licensee partners in the effort, VF/Majestic and Twins/Banner 47, have veered more toward other players that do not necessarily sell vast amounts of merchandise with their name, number or likeness. Similarly, Mets 3B David Wright, Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, 2B Chase Utley and P Roy Halladay and Twins C Joe Mauer are also not involved. The Phillies gear in the line will be unveiled tomorrow, the new Mets merchandise Wednesday, and the Twins the following day.

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