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Volume 21 No. 13
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Licensing show looks for rise in numbers

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, the industry’s sole remaining sports licensing exhibition, opens its doors this week in Las Vegas, and show organizers forecast an uptick in show space and attendance this year.

Change is the watchword this year, with Adidas taking over as the NHL’s uniform licensee for next season, Nike assuming NBA on-court rights, and Fanatics continuing a roll-up of licensing and retail rights making it the most discussed topic at any industry gathering. Combine that with the pressure brought on brick-and-mortar retail by e-commerce vendors and “It’s an interesting and challenging time across every retail channel,” said Pat Hus, show director for the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, which was purchased by Emerald Expositions several years ago.

Hus said exhibition space at the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center was up more than 10 percent to about 90,000 square feet, and the show will have 380 exhibitors, up from 355.

On Tuesday, Collegiate Licensing Co. founder and current University of Alabama Athletic Director Bill Battle is the featured speaker at a new Keynote Industry Breakfast. The Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association is assisting with presentation of a membership survey spotlighting industry trends and statistics.

Properties exhibiting at the show include the NFLPA, NHL, CLC, NASCAR, Chelsea FC and the NBA, which again will hold its team retailer and licensing meeting the day before the larger show. Looking to increase both the size and scope of the show, the International Collegiate Licensing Association has signed on to hold its annual winter symposium at the licensing shows in 2018 and 2020.