Expect early arrival for Super Bowl licensed merchandise
Eager to stoke the retail fires, the NFL is encouraging its largest apparel and hard-goods licensees to get Super Bowl-licensed product at retailers in the host New York market as soon as next month — far earlier than normal.
“The earliest I can recall Super Bowl stuff in market is late July or early August for the 2006 Detroit Super Bowl, but this year you will see Super Bowl product for sale around the [April 25] NFL draft,” said Leo Kane, NFL senior vice president of consumer products. “With the Super Bowl being in New York and all the tourist traffic, there’s a really big opportunity.’’
While Kane would not say what kind of multiple he’s expecting, several licensees said the league is hoping for a three-times to five-times bump in generic product. One intriguing sidelight to Super Bowl-licensed products being available so early is that it will compete for shelf space with licensed products for the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in New York.
|The new Super Bowl logo, which licensees saw for the first time, includes the stadium and skyline.
Another way the league is hoping to boost sales of generic (non-team specific) Super Bowl-licensed products is by returning to the use of a Super Bowl logo that incorporates local elements. Over the past three years, the Super Bowl logo has been decidedly generic: a Lombardi Trophy image atop the appropriate Roman numeral. For Super Bowl XLVIII, it will revert to being regionalized, combining the trophy with an image of MetLife Stadium and some of New York’s most recognizable buildings. When showing the logo to licensees for the first time, NFL Creative Director Shandon Melvin also discussed some of the Super Bowl XLVIII slogans that will be available for licensees. The tag lines have not been finalized, but some themes under consideration for the first outdoor Super Bowl in cold weather have a decidedly New York/New Jersey flavor. They include “Rain, Sleet, and Hail Mary”; “You Say 48 Years, We Say Fashionably Late”; “Unfugheddable”; and “We’ve Got This One Uncovered.”
With no NFL Experience at the next Super Bowl, the question of an additional retail presence for league licensees in Manhattan during Super Bowl Week is an interesting one. Kane said plans have not been finalized, but a pop-up store somewhere adjacent to Broadway between 33rd and 44th streets, which will be transformed into “Super Bowl Boulevard” during the week before the game, is one scenario being discussed.
We also enjoyed the handbags and accessories from Little Earth and the fetching apparel designs from new apparel licensee Meesh & Mia. Even outside of apparel, female tastes are affecting an increasing portion of the
|Products pointed toward women blossomed at the NFL Consumer Products Summit, including the Team Wine Shoe from Team Sports America (top), ballet flats from Cuce and Meesh & Mia tops.
Collegiate-logoed versions are next, though we were told the University of Alabama rejected the opportunity.
> RUSHING IN: With an eye toward attracting kids to the NFL, the league has been pushing for licensee support around its “Rush Zone” Nicktoons cartoon property for several years and it looks like it’s starting to gain some traction. Around 30 licensees are onboard and a planned premium promotion by new league sponsor McDonald’s this fall should also help garner support. “There’s definitely momentum and we have filled some good [licensing] categories,” said Kane. “We want to claim that kid space with some big toy deals.”
|(Left) PPW replaces familiar colors with NFL team logos on the branded Rubik’s Cubes. (Right) Chin scratcher: Pro Specialty Group’s inflatable fake beard, only $4.99.
Terry Lefton can be reached at email@example.com.