Commissioner Gnome is one of the items being offered at the NFL's Pop Up Store
NFL licensing officials and league licensees this morning offered a preview of a 10,000-foot Pop-Up Store in N.Y. that will open for the month of April and attempt to capitalize on the excitement around the NFL Draft. The Draft kicks off April 26 at Radio City Music Hall, seven blocks uptown from the store. More than 50 licensees have products in the store at 42nd Street and Sixth Ave. in Manhattan, just across from Bryant Park. Among the Draft-specific items on display were a “Commissioner Gnome” from Forever Collectibles, which has a gnome bearing little resemblance to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, holding up a jersey. Around half the store was open today, with the 5,000 square feet that will display products from new uniform licensee Nike and new sideline cap rightsholder New Era set to open next week. Part of New Era’s display will include a mock NFL Draft stage, on which shoppers can pose with the company’s new Draft Caps. “We’re doing this to grab all the energy from our new licensees" New Era and Nike, said NFL Senior VP/Consumer Products Leo Kane. Under Armour showed its expanded NFL Combine Line, which now includes womens' and kids' athletic apparel. Other licensed product in the space, which has a carpeted faux football field, included apparel from Outer Stuff, VF, Vineyard Vines and Mitchell & Ness. Hard goods licensees represented included Baby Fanatic, Style Pasifika, Pangea Brands and Wilson, which hold NFL game ball rights and will manufacture balls on site. Later in April, the Lombardi Trophy will be displayed at the store, followed by a showing of every Super Bowl championship ring. The store’s official opening is Monday, at which Goodell is scheduled to work behind a cash register. The store will be open from 10:00am-8:00pm daily through April 30. The last NFL Pop-Up Store was in New Orleans for the season kickoff after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE EXCITEMENT
: Kane said that the NFL ad licensees were sharing risk on the store, which is being operated by agency MKTG. “When the Draft went primetime two years, all the indicators zoomed up, but we had limited retail space there. Here, we can really take advantage of the excitement. ... I don’t know that we’ll do this every year, but for kickoff of next season, which will be here, and the Super Bowl in 22 months, you’ll probably see us do something." As for a more permanent retail storefront, like the NBA and NHL Manhattan storefronts, Kane said, “There’s always people asking, but this is more about taking advantage of a particular event than anything permanent and it’s a testimony to how big the draft has become."