USWNT Expands, Evolves Marketing With REP Worldwide
The USWNT has been "building a new business arm" with REP Worldwide, a brand management agency that the USWNT co-founded with players from the NFL and the WNBA, and the team's World Cup win this summer offered a "heck of a launch pad," according to Caitlin Murray of YAHOO SPORTS. The USWNT Players Association "now has 26 deals signed with licensees who are authorized to sell products featuring the team and its star players." Those deals "represent a wide range of products," from covers of Wheaties boxes with General Mills, to bobbleheads with toy brand FOCO. Target "featured player-specific T-shirts in stores across the country this summer via a licensing deal" with Icon Sports Management. REP Worldwide President Steven Scebelo said that through June, the retailer "sold four times their minimum guaranteed in royalties," and that period "doesn't even cover the World Cup final or the aftermath of the USWNT's big win." Scebelo added that BreakingT, which "sells T-shirts in real time in response to viral moments, had its single-best day of sales during the Women's World Cup." With the USWNT "doing something it has never done before, the players have found themselves taking on new roles beyond soccer." Former USWNT player Meghan Klingenberg is in "touch regularly with REP Worldwide and reviews every licensing contract to make sure it's a good fit," while MF Samantha Mewis has taken an interest in helping the USWNTPA "function more like a business" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/3).