SBJ/February 27 - March 5, 2006/This Weeks News

NFL’s ‘hardlines’ head for Steelers’ home

The NFL’s non-apparel, or “hardlines,” licensees will gather at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh this week after a record year during the regular season and anticipation of an all-time licensing yield for the Super Bowl.

More than 200 people representing more than 70 NFL licensees, team merchandising executives and retailers, including Bob’s Stores, Dick’s Sporting Goods, EastBay, Finish Line, Giant Eagle, Hat World/Lids, HSN, JCPenney, Modell’s and Pro Image, are meeting at the fourth annual HardLines Summit. The event was scheduled for Pittsburgh well before the Steelers won the NFL championship.

Among the planned activities are a mini trade show and a speech by Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

NFL licensing executives, including Gene Goldberg, vice president of consumer products, and Leo Kane, senior director of licensing and consumer products, will honor three licensees for returning more than $1 million in royalties for the first time in company history. The three to be recognized are Forever Collectibles/Teams Beans, East Brunswick, N.J.; Hunter Manufacturing, Lexington, Ky.; and Rico/Tag Express, Chicago.

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