SBD/December 15, 2010/Marketing and Sponsorship

Philly Retailers Scrambling To Get Cliff Lee Merch On The Racks

Lee Phillies Jerseys Should Be Available Within Next Three Weeks

Sporting goods and clothing retailers are hustling to obtain merchandise featuring new Phillies P Cliff Lee in time for Christmas, and things "look pretty good" that the new gear will be "available in time to tuck a pinstriped No. 33 jersey under the Christmas tree," according to William Bender of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. A Majestic Athletic spokesperson said that the "new Lee jerseys should be available to purchase within a week to three weeks." The company was "awaiting confirmation yesterday that Lee would keep his No. 33 jersey number that he wore" with the Rangers; Roy Halladay wears the No. 34 that Lee sported while with the Phillies in '09. Modell's Sporting Goods Regional Marketing Manager Derrick Morgan said, "We definitely are already working with the vendor to try to get some Lee merchandise in as soon as it's printed." New York Univ. sports management professor Wayne McDonnell: "From a merchandise standpoint, everybody is going to want to scoop up those jerseys." Bender notes Modell's and other outlets "will likely have Lee T-shirts sooner." Fans "who can't wait that long were buying the unofficial Lee-themed shirts that were popping up on the Internet yesterday." The "R2C2" shirt -- a "Star Wars"-themed reference to the pitching lineup of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Lee -- was "available long before sunrise" at Phillies blog Zoo With Roy. Meanwhile, the Phillies "reportedly sold more than 20,000 tickets yesterday" after the news that Lee had agreed to terms with the team (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 12/15).

WELCOME BACK: In Philadelphia, Suzette Parmley reports the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. is "about to put up ... billboards welcoming Lee's return," and that "at least one of the billboards will be prominent on I-95." One billboard will read like a postcard: "Dear Cliff, You are ... This is ... I promised myself I wouldn't get choked up. Welcome Home. With Love, Philadelphia XOXO." Parmley notes the Lee signs will compete for attention with billboards near I-95 featuring Giants QB Eli Manning and Yankees SS Derek Jeter. Both athletes are "hawking designer watches" -- Manning is a pitchman for Citizen, and Jeter is the face for Movado (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 12/15).

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