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Volume 24 No. 178
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Blackhawks' Most Recent Cup Win Bucks The Trend Of Dynasties Being Bad For Sales

Reebok's locker-room T-shirt is the top-selling item
Sports dynasties are generally not good for sales of championship-licensed merchandise, but NHL officials say sales tied to the Blackhawks' third Stanley Cup in six years are exceeding the team’s title in '10 and '13 and rivaling the league’s top championship market -- the '02 Red Wings championship. Reebok’s championship locker-room T-shirt is the top-selling item. NHL Group VP/Consumer Products Jim Haskins said sales of apparel and hard goods were strong across all retail channels. This year’s Stanley Cup Final merchandise sales more than doubled that of last year. Sales from the team’s latest championship are up around 20%, compared to the '13 Cup win. Reebok’s Blackhawks championship locker-room cap is sold out, with more expected at retail in July. “Typically for any league championship, business goes down as a team wins multiple times, because of saturation, but with the Blackhawks, it has been the reverse," Haskins said. "The fan passion in Chicago is clearly transcending core hockey fans and outside of Chicago, they are developing a national following. ... Overall, retailers are showing more confidence in the NHL. They’re bringing in NHL product earlier and in more doors and more markets.” This year’s total playoff sales will also be one of the best ever, as they are up 15%. On Shop.NHL.com, Blackhawks championship gear is up 155% vs. Kings gear last year. It is up 53% vs. Blackhawks '13 and up 68% vs. Blackhawks '10. Fanatics said that combined totals for its own site and Shop.NHL.com sales were up 375% from last year. For the season, NHL merchandise sales across Fanatics' platforms were up 30%.

HAWKING KNOCKOFFS
: In Chicago, Steve Schmadeke reported federal agents "seized more than 4,350 counterfeit sweaters, caps and other souvenirs as part of a crackdown during the Stanley Cup Final and Thursday's victory celebration." A U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement spokesperson said that 90% of the fake merch "was seized in Chicago." Authorities "estimated the retail value of all the seized merchandise -- 4,376 items -- at $181,215" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 6/19).