SBJ/June 17-23, 2013/Colleges

Fighting Irish fragrance? Makes scents

Putting a new twist to “Irish spring,” the Cloudbreak Group, New York, will roll out a Notre Dame-licensed fragrance for the next college football season. The firm, which made the New York Yankees scent a $10 million-plus retail brand since it was introduced last spring, will introduce the Fighting Irish scent at the Notre Dame college bookstore in August.

Pricing will be similar to the Yankees’ eau de toilette, at $60 for a 3.4-ounce bottle.

“Notre Dame’s got this appeal way beyond just football fans,” said Cloudbreak Group President Tom Butkiewicz. “It also has a lot of global reach.”

The Yankees proved team-branded scents can sell.
With the success of the Yankees fragrance, Cloudbreak proved that team brands can be successful as a scent license. It followed the Yankees scent with products bearing the logos of the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers, and it has fragrances coming out this holiday season for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Each scent is unique.

“Frankly, we’d been asked to do this before and said no,” said MLB licensing chief Howard Smith. “They started with a high-end marketing and distribution strategy and backed it with extraordinary resources and execution.”

Distribution for the fragrance remains based in department stores, where Macy’s and Lord & Taylor are its largest retailers.

Cloudbreak has extended into other channels, with an array of Yankees-branded toiletries, including a $10 kids bubble bath and shampoo set, which comes with a Yankees rubber duck. Those lower price points have put Cloudbreak’s Yankees products into Duane Reade, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

“You look for authenticity, tradition, national appeal and a team brand that translates well to products outside of sports,” Butkiewicz said.

No word on an NFL fragrance yet, but the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers are obvious targets. An attempt at a U.S. Olympic Committee scent deal using the Olympic rings was rejected in deference to the USOC’s large sponsorship deal with health and beauty aid leader Procter & Gamble.

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