SBD/February 2, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Super Bowl "If Win" Orders Higher For Packers Than Steelers Among NFL Licensees

Most NFL licensees feel Packers victory would generate 10-20% more sales
Based on their "If Win" orders, most NFL licensees are favoring the Packers over the Steelers in Sunday's Super Bowl. While manufacturers of NFL licensed goods are happy to have two teams with the tradition and diverse fan bases of the Steelers and Packers, an informal survey of NFL licensees found Green Bay would generate 10-20% more in sales of championship products than Pittsburgh. "We're seeing a slight edge with Green Bay in overall demand, but the best thing about this year's matchup is that it's pretty encouraging either way, because you've got two national teams," said David Baxter, president of the adidas Sports Licensed Division, which handles Reebok's exclusive on-field apparel rights. The Packers, winner of the first two Super Bowls, last won in ‘97, establishing an NFL high in sales of championship licensed products. A Steelers win may stimulate less demand, since the team was victorious two years ago and has won two of the last five NFL championships. Wincraft's McArthur Towel division makes both the Trophy Towel, which gets valuable on-field display during the Super Bowl postgame celebration, and the Steelers’ familiar "Terrible Towel." For their postseason run, a Packers "Titletown Towel" has been added. Company officials also said Packers orders were outpacing Steelers by about 20%.

RECORD SALES EXPECTED: Like many NFL licensees, VF is anticipating a record cash register ring during the NFL Playoffs. That follows a season in which the NFL established many TV viewing records and appears on its way to establishing a new high in Super Bowl viewers. "This is already probably our best NFL postseason from a sales perspective," said Jim Pisani, president of VF's Licensed Sports Group, which includes the Majestic Athletic Brand. "Based on our orders, the Packers look to be the stronger team for sales, but Steelers fans are everywhere, and them possibly being the first seven-time Super Bowl champs is something with sustainability that we could chase pretty hard." NFL VP/Consumer Products Leo Kane said that sales of this year's generic Super Bowl licensed products togs, which include the Lombardi Trophy in the logo for the first time, would rival or surpass the previous high, set at Super Bowl XL in Detroit. Sales will be propelled by the fact that the 30,000-square-foot NFL Shop at the NFL Experience fan fest will be open four days during each of the two weekends prior to the Super Bowl. "Our forecast prior to the season was high single-digit growth, but I think we'll exceed that, based on the nice exclamation point we're getting from the playoffs and Super Bowl," Kane said.
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