MEASURING THE GROWTH OF THE LICENSED APPAREL BUSINESS
With labor strife and an apparent change in tastes "by some
fickle consumers," marketers in the $10B sports licensing
industry are asking if the "boom days are over," writes Terry
Lefton in the current issue of BRANDWEEK. Aside from the damage
caused by labor unrest, licensed apparel "seems to have lost some
of the cachet that made it a fashion" over the past few years.
Authentic and replica jerseys are now the only licensed apparel
showing double digit growth. The Sports Authority Chair Jack
Smith: "There was a change in direction by consumers even prior
to the labor unrest. It's moved from licensing to a completely
different look, an outdoor look, with brown shoes instead of
sneakers and rather than a team shirt or jacket with them, it's a
red flannel plaid shirt" (BRANDWEEK, 2/20 issue).
THE LICENSEES: Lefton notes that larger companies are
moving in the licensing business, while smaller companies may be
getting pushed out. Most pro sports leagues are eliminating
their lower tier licensees. And companies such as Apex and Logo
7 that grew because of their licenses have "sale rumors swirling"
around them (BRANDWEEK, 2/20).