SBD/April 16, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Jackie Robinson Merch Sales On Fanatics.com Jump 1,000% Since Start Of MLB Season

Sales of Robinson jerseys and other gear have been helped by the new biopic "42"
Sales of Jackie Robinson replica jerseys and “other merchandise have jumped 1000 percent since the baseball season began two weeks ago compared to the same period last year,” according to Fanatics.com data cited by Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. T-shirts “with Brooklyn written on the front and Robinson’s name and number on the back are the best-selling item.” This past weekend’s release of “42,” a biopic chronicling Robinson’s life, has “helped.” But sales of Robinson’s gear “have topped sales of gear for every current player as well.” Few players have “had such an impact on baseball and beyond.” CMG Worldwide CEO & Chair Mark Roesler, whose company sells the licensing rights of deceased athletes and celebrities, said that Robinson is “consistently one of the highest earning deceased sports celebrities.” Robinson also remains “a fixation of collectors.” Chicago-based sports memorabilia seller Baseball in the Attic Founder Michael Osacky said that the value of a ball signed by Robinson “has risen 50 percent, to $7,500 since 2004.” He added that Robinson’s '52 Topps card in “near-mint condition has appreciated even faster, to $8,100, from $3,200” (NYTIMES.com, 4/15). Meanwhile, AD AGE reported New Era for MLB’s observance of Jackie Robinson Day yesterday released a “new, more serious commercial for the brand.” The ad, titled "First Changes Everything," is a “nicely shot film featuring people tipping their caps in honor of Jackie Robinson.” Pereira & O'Dell, N.Y., created the spot with “production by Rooster.” A digital element allows fans to send photos, videos and tweets "tipping your hat" in his honor (ADAGE.com, 4/15).
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