Licensed Program: Sports
England RugbyRugby Football Union/CPLG
There is no denying that 2016 was an incredibly successful year for England Rugby. 13 games unbeaten across the RBS 6 Nations, taking the Grand Slam and Triple Crown. A 3-0 whitewash in the summer tour against Australia and winning the Old Mutual Wealth Series in the Autumn. This on pitch success was fantastic for the brand and transferred into success across retail. Apparel has led the way for event time success in retail, selling out in the first week of each tournament. While new product launches in the homewares category have ensured year round engagement with the brand.
Kentucky DerbyChurchill Downs Racetrack, LLC/Fermata Partners
The Kentucky Derby ran for the 142nd time on May 7, 2016, making it the longest continuously held sporting event in the United States. Despite its lengthy history, 2016 marked a landmark year for the event, which saw records established for total royalties generated as well as on-track merchandise sales. Key highlights for the 2016 Kentucky Derby included the first event under new licensing agency Fermata Partners, the first event under new concessionaire and e-commerce partner Fanatics, and more than 18 new licensees brought into the program, all which contributed to renewed marketplace excitement for the venerable brand.
MLS & ClubsMajor League Soccer/Soccer United Marketing
In 2016, MLS consumer products saw 14% growth YOY. MLS expanded it’s offering to 1700 doors with placement and signage/feature space in 2100+ locations throughout the U.S. and Canada – up 17% and 75% vs. 2015, respectively. At the stadium, MLS worked closely with the Clubs to convert “belly up” stands to walk-in shops resulting an immediate triple digit increase in sales after only one match (i.e. Portland 117%, LA 104%). A relatively young CP business, MLS can now boast of product offering from Soccer Specialty to Sneaker Boutiques to the Mass market.
In 2016, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) continued its accelerated rate of growth by forging new partnerships in technology, expanding into nontraditional areas of licensing and creating the world’s first athlete-driven business accelerator, OneTeam Collective. With the development of the One Team Collective, the NFLPA is positioned to gain equity stakes in innovative new sports-centered startups. Plus, continued growth for licensed products and programs with anchor licensees like EA Sports, Fanatics and Panini resulted in retail sales totaling $1.6 billion.
PGA TOURPGA TOUR/CAA Sports/ Fermata Partners
With the goal of growing the PGA TOUR brand as the top-of-mind golf and affinity lifestyle brand, highlights from the 2016 licensing program include the continued success and expansion of its traditional licensing business domestically through key programs including PGA TOUR apparel and accessory products, and new locations of branded airport shops, restaurants and golf retail centers. The PGA TOUR Superstore concept expanded internationally and opened its doors in Tsukuba, Japan outside of Tokyo. Additionally, the PGA TOUR announced the appointment of new worldwide licensing agency, CAA/Fermata, to manage the growth of the licensing business in 2016 and beyond.