SBJ/20100927/Marketing/Sponsorship

USSA signs licensing deal with idea of ‘supercharging’ its consumer products business

USSA gear is bound for resorts.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has signed a licensing partnership with Huge Sportswear, a Utah-based apparel distributor that will develop T-shirts, sweatshirts and ball caps for the U.S. ski and snowboard teams.

The deal will lead to a new line of apparel and broader distribution of USSA gear. Both are central to efforts by Andrew Judelson, USSA’s chief revenue and marketing officer, to diversify and boost the group’s revenue streams, which have been driven by sponsorship dollars.

“This is the first volley into supercharging our consumer products business,” Judelson said. “We not only want to provide products consumers want, but also put them where consumers can get them.”

USSA signed with Huge Sportswear primarily because it already distributes apparel in retail outlets at ski and snowboard resorts throughout the U.S. The company plans to develop a USSA signature line of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and more, and distribute it across its network of retail partners. Since signing its agreement with USSA, it has gotten commitments to carry the product line from 26 stores in Colorado. All are stores where USSA products have not been distributed in the past.

“We’ve never done a lot of licensing, but we’re in resort markets, and we saw a lot of potential for re-creating their presence there,” said Huge Sportswear President Rob Worthington.

USSA is also hiring a consumer products director and working to bring its e-commerce business in-house.

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