SBJ/November 26-December 2, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Success of Yankees scent means that more are on the way

Terry Lefton
There were some obvious jokes to be made when the Cloudbreak Group licensed New York Yankees cologne and perfume last year, and plenty of people made them. Not in this space, of course, but there were questions about whether the fragrance would smell like a locker room, if the scent would include traces of Cracker Jack or pine tar, and whether a Mets fragrance would be malodorous.

With a season of retail success for units that sold for $62 for a 3.4-ounce bottle under their belts and sales well beyond expectations, the jokes have stopped and the extensions are proliferating. Before next season, Cloudbreak will launch fragrances bearing the names and logos of the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers.

A holiday gift set for men includes a Yankees wristwatch. Fragrances for Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers fans will be available soon.
The first two teams have tradition and history on their side, if not quite the championship hardware count of the 27-time champion Yankees. As for the Rangers? Don’t mess with Texas in terms of that market’s importance and as a complement to the New York and California markets, with the addition of the Dodgers.

NFL and collegiate licenses are also being eyed, said Cloudbreak CEO Thomas Butkiewicz.

“We proved that the Yankees scent was a national play, which actually some people questioned,” he said. “The bottom line for us, as far as retail success, is picking teams with fanatical followings, located in big markets. So, we are proceeding carefully, but there is no question the demand is there.”

While many anticipated the Yankees fragrances would quickly shift to midtier and downstairs distribution outlets, sales have been strong enough to keep “eau de Yankees” in the “upstairs” department store channel, Butkiewicz said.

Now Cloudbreak is expanding distribution to Panama, the Caribbean, Venezuela, Europe and Asia, along with military channels and airport retailers. Forthcoming licensed products include a $10 “Game Ready Bath Set,” which includes shampoo, bubble bath and a Yankee-branded rubber ducky, slated to be available with the marks of 15 MLB teams by next season.

> PADDLING ON: Just four years old, Peter Farnsworth’s TopSpin table tennis tournament continues to gather an impressive crowd among sports, media and entertainment marketing types and raise a notable amount of money for charity.

This year’s tourney, held earlier this month in downtown Manhattan, attracted more than 900 people and raised upward of $275,000 for three educational charities: A Better Chance, Change for Kids, and Horizon/Brooklyn Friends School.

Former NBAer Allan Houston beat another former baller, John Wallace, in the celebrity tournament. In the open division, GroupM ESP finance manager Cecilia Chen triumphed, while the digital agency Williams-Forrest won the corporate division.

TopSpin sponsors included MLB, the NBA and NFL, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, and agencies including Wasserman Media Group, Group M, Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment, ANC Sports, Octagon, IMG and Farnsworth’s Foxrock Partners.

Terry Lefton can be reached at tlefton@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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