Team USA shop to hit Manhattan
|The USOC and Fanatics will open a temporary retail shop in Rockefeller Center.
The shop will fill a vacant storefront in Rockefeller Center, just off Fifth Avenue fewer than 100 yards from the “Today” show studios and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and ice-skating rink.
The USOC already operates a store at its training center in Colorado Springs, and also opened a small shop inside the USA House at the 2016 Rio Games. But the coming pop-up is within some of the most heavily foot-trafficked territory in the United States, a rare opportunity for Team USA brand exposure and sales.
“We don’t truly know how big it could be, but again the location is fairly significant,” said Peter Zeytoonjian, USOC managing director of marketing and consumer products. “And you’ve got a week and a half before the holidays, and it really remains a tourist attraction all through the winter.”
All of the USOC’s apparel sponsors except Polo Ralph Lauren will have product in the 1,100-square-foot store. That includes Nike, Swatch, Oakley and Outerstuff, which makes an unbranded line of Team USA merchandise. Products from a range of other licensees will be sold, too.
Fanatics, the preferred e-commerce service hosting site of the USOC through 2020, already runs teamusashop.com. It will run the retail store. The company operates the NBA Store nearby on Fifth Avenue, along with 35 other brick-and-mortar stores on behalf of college and pro teams.
The opportunity arose only in the past couple of months, Zeytoonjian said, and the short-term lease was locked down in early November. The lease expires at the end of the Pyeongchang Games, but the USOC said it would use the store’s results to consider the economics of opening a permanent location.
“I think this is a test, and we’ll see how it does, and make decisions accordingly,” Zeytoonjian said.