sports marketing

Amazon’s Big and Others’ Little Boxes: An Idiosyncratic Take on Licensing Expo

NEW YORK, NY; May 26, 2018—In the end, it’s all about boxes, isn’t it?

Amazon was, is, and will remain The Topic for licensors, manufacturers, retailers, consultants, agents, and anyone else involved in the business of licensing. And what is Amazon about if not boxes?

The headline out of Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this month had to do with Merch Collab, the online retail behemoth’s new program offering design and manufacturing/sourcing expertise for fast-to-market licensed merchandise to be sold on its eponymous website.

But as much as has been written about Amazon’s impact on retailing, that impact can’t be overestimated. Whether Epic Rights’s Dell Furano holding forth on the shift of music and celebrity t-shirt and jersey sales from venues to physical retail to online or Cartoon Network’s Pete Yoder enthusing about the technology behind Amazon Go, the company’s prototype supermarket (and likely all-merchandise) store of the future, to cite but two conversations during Expo, any conversation about retail inevitably turned to Amazon.

A part of that discussion that tends to be underrepresented, however, concerns Amazon’s various experiments with physical retail. Just as many “digital-only” magazines discovered the need to develop physical magazines because that’s what advertisers demanded, so, too, Amazon clearly recognizes that physical retail isn’t going to disappear.

My friend Marty Porter, executive director of the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), and author of the Record Plant Diaries, calls this phenomenon “physigital,” and predicts that physical media will cater to the luxury segment of the market while digital will be for the masses. Amazon understands and lives that concept instinctively.

That’s one type of box. In my idiosyncratic take on what was fun and interesting at Licensing Expo, though, there’s another:

Cross Bratz with Shopkins, mix in the unboxing craze, add steroids, and you have Boxy Girls, which debuted exclusively at Walmart via Jay@Play the week of this year’s Licensing Expo. The child gets the doll in a box that has additional little boxes with clothes, accessories, makeup and other items. There are add-on boxes with multiple surprise boxes, boxes with two limited edition dolls plus little boxes, and so on. This is completely of-the-moment. Jay@Play is represented by Cynthia Hall Domine’s licensing agency, Synchronicity.

Cartoon Network (CN) has worked with subscription box licensees Loot Crate and Box Blvd., notes CN’s Pete Yoder, who sees boxes as viable long term rather than a fad, particularly as the ratio of consumables is increased in the mix.

In a larger context, boxes (and unboxing) are part of the trend toward licensing experiences rather than products. CN has been upping the number of live and touring shows it does, says Yoder, especially in Latin America and EMEA. CN launches its first cruise ship in 2019 — cruises have become a staple for Disney — and the network has its CN-themed Six Flags amusement park in China. In the U.S., Adult Swim’s Rickmobile started touring the country last summer; now there’s an Adult Swim music and comedy festival scheduled for Los Angeles this October and featuring Run the Jewels, among other acts.

BuzzFeed had one of the more curious booths — certainly for those of us who aren’t regular BuzzFeed addicts (that includes me). Visitors toured its big red box of a booth, with only the name out front by entering a series of doors that led to rooms that had displays and might also be housing BuzzFeed execs for meetings in action.

There wasn’t much to fill you in on exactly what the rooms represented (I went through three times at different points in the show, uniformly hearing people mystified and curious) until you read the thick newspaper-like handout that explained the rooms were themed to popular BuzzFeed channels — in particular the foodie Tasty brand room, which had a display of kitchen utensils and a chef preparing pancakes and other goodies. Turns out the line of Tasty-branded utensils are also a Walmart exclusive.

Shout out to BuzzFeed for the best swag of the show: When you got to the end of your self-guided tour there were bags on pegs and shelves from which to select whatever items you wanted — multi-colored measuring cups and whisks, cosmetics cases (or maybe they were pencil cases?), glass water bottles, miniature yo-yos…Eric Karp is heading up the licensing effort.

And moving beyond boxes. Way beyond boxes:

The dinosaur roaming the show entrance near the Universal booth and scaring the bejesus out of unsuspecting passersby was presumably promoting the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie opening June 22. I say presumably because no one was indicating what he was about, despite a handler upfront in dinosaur-wrastling get-up and a handler in the back keeping people away from the giant tail. The guy inside this costume wielded it phenomenally well.

Lenovo’s Jedi Challenges, available since late last year but offering demos at the show to attract other properties is the first augmented reality game I’ve seen that defined the genre for me: Jedi Challenge Expo 2018Put on the goggles, extend your lightsaber and you’re jousting lightsaber to lightsaber with a Jedi. Or in local mode, with another player. Asked whether the Star Wars relationship with Disney bodes well for Marvel and other Disney franchises down the road, a spokesperson suggested that “it’s easy to imagine” such a scenario but for now they are “concentrating on Star Wars.” That said, more software is needed to justify the expense of the $199 headset, but the play value is pretty incredible.

Walking malls in recent months conducting licensing tours, Hotel Transylvania photo booth Expo 2018I’ve been struck by the variations on the classic photo booth — booths that upload to Instagram, selfie booths (contradiction in terms, no?), booths that feature licensed properties. At the show, Sony Pictures had an interesting iteration with a screen featuring characters from its upcoming Hotel Transylvania 3, opening July 18. Facing it, when you moved, the character mirrored your moves. Your image appeared in the corner near the movie character. More traditional: When Grumpy Cat wasn’t available in person for a photo, you could step in an old-fashioned photo booth and pose next to a preprogrammed Grumpy Cat.

On the promotional side — and what is Licensing Expo if not a promotional event? — kudos to WWE and, especially Sesame Street (see photo up top for your humbled blogger and friends), for the photo ops in the show’s registration area. Great way to talk into a show.

 

The booth garnering the most speculation was perhaps that of Jonathan and Drew Scott, known for their HGTV Property Brothers home-fixer-upper TV show. The booth referenced Property Brothers but the license being offered was Scott Brothers.

Scott Brothers Expo 2018

I assume Property Brothers is owned by the network and that the Scotts want to control their own licensing. (That’s akin, so to speak, to the situation many chefs featured on, say, Food Network, find themselves in: Network owns the show and controls licensing rights, but savvy chefs have retained the rights to their individual names.) The Scotts’ booth — a large, multi-tiered, beautifully outfitted affair — was packed when the brothers were on hand, and not very populated the rest of the time, save for a few staffers.

Licensing Expo is not just about entertainment, though it can feel that way. There are heritage brands, literary properties and artists along with fashion labels, sports properties, and others. Capezio Expo 2018Among the heritage brands new to the show this year were two fourth generation members of the family that founded Capezio, the classic dance apparel and footwear brand. While the brand was once licensed to a wider audience, it has in recent years been more limited to the dance community. Reimagining the brand through licensing is the plan.

The Licensing University program sponsored by LIMA orients hundreds of newcomers to understanding the benefits of licensing, the structure of the business, the trendlines and more.

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Gary Caplan, Ira Mayer, Katy Briggs

I had the honor once again of leading the opening “Basics of Licensing” panel with “godfather of licensing” Gary Caplan, of Gary Caplan Inc., and Hallmark’s Katy Briggs. Thanks to you both, and to LIMA’s Marty Brochstein for inviting all three of us to participate.

Knights hockey team popup 2018Finally, at the airport leaving Las Vegas, there was a great pop-up booth dedicated to local hockey team the Vegas Golden Knights, who made it to the Stanley Cup finals. Sporting goods stores in Fashion Show mall were also festooned with Knights merch, but the pop-up was a great unintentional last impression of the show!

Looking for a licensing assessment to assist with strategy and new business development? I’ll help you identify the white space for your licensing program through competitive analysis. Visit www.iramayer.com for details.

 

What to Look For Between the Aisles and Behind the Curtains at Licensing Expo 2017

NEW YORK, NY; MAY 20, 2017—It’s not the carefully worded polished press releases or the beautifully choreographed licensee summits that generate the “news” of Licensing Expo. It’s in how the companies behind those releases and events complement, contrast and compete with each other that the trendlines can be discerned.

Here’s what to look for behind the booths and between the aisles at this year’s Expo in Las Vegas May 22 (when Licensing University and the summits commence) and May 23-25 (the formal show):

  1. Digital Properties. Add BuzzFeed, AirBnB and others to the digital celebrities we’ve seen in prior years.
  2. Speed to Market. The digital environment has made “I want it yesterday” reality.
  3. International box office. Studios forecast the geographic breakdown of licensed merchandise sales globally based on box office trends. Well, folks, box office outside the U.S. is now often two-thirds of the total. Where would you place your bets?
  4. Made local. Not just Brooklyn or USA — but local pride is a point of differentiation for all manner of properties and goods.
  5. Retail consolidation. Store closings isn’t where the story is. It’s the transformation of mall spaces into entertainment environments, the on-going quest for seamless integration of online and offline shopping, and the need to turn the shopping experience (again, online or off) and the products themselves into “experiences.”
  6. Competing with licensees. Another aspect of the retail story — licensees and licensors are going head-to-head with the retailers they once feared competing against.
  7. Online/mobile shopping. Corollary to Nos. 5 and 6. Sports — specifically Fanatics — is paving way for other property types. And while Fanatics started as the online seller for most leagues and teams, it’s opening physical locations as well. Outside sports: Keep an eye on what Amazon is up to in bricks and mortar, localizing product selection and rewarding its best customers.
  8. New wave of anime. More coming on the globalization front.
  9. Public properties — mass transit following NYPD. This is different than non-profit licensing. It’s working in Australia, the UK, and more.
  10. Experiences/Services are on the rise. Online “clubs,” touring shows and museum-like exhibitions, hotels. If you can “experience-ilize” it, you’ve got a selling point to test.
  11. This term has shifted from serious upscale limited editions to mass toys. Are trading cards ready for a comeback?
  12. Subscription boxes. This is a fad that will play out. It won’t disappear, but there’s a reason book clubs and record clubs went the way of the dinosaur.

If you’re at the show and would like to meet up, contact me at ira@iramayer.com. I’m also moderating the Licensing University session, “The Basics of Licensing,” featuring manufacturers consultant Gary Caplan (Gary Caplan Inc.), and licensing agents James Slifer (The Joester-Loria Group) and Joanne Olds (The Buffalo Works, specializing in representing artists). Here’s a preview of the session, which takes place Monday May 22, 9-11:15 a.m.

Licensing Expo At 35,000 Feet: Sustaining Licensed Properties In A Multi-Platform Universe

EN ROUTE, LAS VEGAS, NV to NEW YORK, NY; June 23, 2016—Over 26 years attending Licensing Expo, whether sitting down to interview people or walking the aisles, I always get variations of the same question (especially from exhibitors who rarely get to leave their booths): “What are you seeing on the floor?” “What’s new?” “What’s hot?”

The truth is, when you’re at the show, the elaborate exhibits, the characters walking around, the noise, the constant visual bombardment make it difficult to process what you’re experiencing beyond realizing that the longest line at the show was to have your picture taken with Grumpy Cat (except for those of us allergic).

Grumpy Cat line

Smiling with Grumpy

So to all who asked me that question this year, while I was in my tradeshow stupor, and to those just wondering, 35,000 feet on the way home offers the needed distance to pull some thoughts together.

The key theme for me: Sustainability has dual meanings. One is environmental, which is subject for another time. The other is about sustaining the life of a property in a digital age. I’m going to focus on the entertainment/character/gaming worlds here, but that subject is top of mind for every brand, fashion, sports, art, and other licensor, manufacturer, agent, and other player as well.

Traditional media still count, certainly to companies rooted in it, but the fact is many of the digital content producers don’t yet understand the importance of multiple platforms, including the traditional ones.

“Linear still has the reach and consistency you need” to support a licensing program, Cartoon Network’s Pete Yoder told me. “But we also know mom hands off [he moves his smart phone from one hand to the other] to the kids.” Three key changes in the digital age:

  1. “We’re developing content specific to each digital medium. It’s based on the same IP but we’re not just re-editing 11-minute programs to 90-seconds.”
  2. “We’re ordering the number of episodes we need by medium from the beginning.”
  3. “Years ago you needed 6 months to a year after a program was a hit to get a licensing program underway. Now the question is, ‘When are you launching the first access to the brand’” via any medium.

At Activision, the “traditional” medium is games, and that — just as obviously as TV is for Cartoon Network — continues to be the core. But the news at Activision is a Netflix commitment to two seasons of a Skylanders Academy series. “Our audience is 6-12, with a real sweet spot of 6-9,” the company’s Ashley Maidy noted. A linear program, for her, has the potential to “bring new kids in — younger kids whose older siblings know the game, as well as others who just haven’t been exposed to it at all. . . .It’s a marriage of digital product and multiple platforms.”

The transformation of Skylander across platforms has proven easier than for Call of Duty, but a film is in the works for that, as well.

IM in Hydrox suit

Your humble correspondent stopping for a little food for thought.

Activision’s challenges — and a common refrain at many companies: “We still have to educate buyers and retailers who are tradition-bound that our customers aren’t watching TV. And with no ratings for Netflix, how do you measure success?” [Aside: One of the most promising areas to Activision founder Bobby Kotick, Maidy says, is eSports, which Kotick believes — and Activision will be playing an ever-greater role to accomplish — could be as big as the NFL in five years. Why not think big?]

Both Yoder and Maidy agreed with me that even two years ago if someone had offered them Netflix as an outlet for a series they would have turned up their noses. Not anymore.

That said, hyperbole from the digital world doesn’t really help on the measurement count, in part because it feels as though (not just at Licensing Expo, but in the “wider world”) that the digirati don’t really understand what’s important to know. They can measure all sorts of things, but those numbers don’t necessarily translate to something the IP, ad, or licensing worlds can use.

Consider Paladin Software’s James Creach, speaking as part of the Digital Licensing Summit program at the Expo, who observed that “the Super Bowl is watched by 112 million people but 1 billion people are active on social media in a month.” Well, an event watched simultaneously by 112 million people — roughly one in three Americans — is a very different story than a billion people spread across almost as many messages of all sorts. The latter isn’t unimportant, but the comparison does no favors in selling the medium.

I didn’t get to speak with anyone from Youtube, but their booth looked like a lost opportunity. Clearly a major player as an outlet for new IP as well as for creating new channels for existing programming, the company had a huge space. But from the outside all one saw was a small sign with some of the properties named. No effort to educate what the properties are, where Youtube fits in, how it translates into consumer products or even just to pique interest. I don’t think I’m alone among show attendees (OK, of a certain age — but younger as well) in having heard of only a very few of the properties named.

I’ll get off my soapbox in a moment. But coming from the print publishing world, one of the things I’ve watch many “digital-only” publishers discover is that at this point in time, to satisfy advertisers, they still need print. Similarly, digital video celebrities or others will find it difficult to sustain their fame or develop long-term careers without multiple platforms — and I don’t mean just multiple social media. Just as traditional media have been forced to embrace new media, so new media will need to embrace the old. Tyler Oakley, who is part of the Dreamworks/Awesomeness  stable, gets it: he’s out there touring with a live show, there’s a documentary, AND he keeps up his video and social media output. Rock and roll, watch out. [Commented one music merchandiser: “We survived superheroes and Star Wars. Music is trending up.”]

Most trenchant observation by a newcomer to licensing at the show, though: John Haugh, the 3-months new CEO and President of Iconix, at a reception for Peanuts licensees: “I know many of you would like a Peanuts movie every year. We would too, but nobody does a movie every year, not even Star Wars. And I want to remind you that many of you have done very well with Peanuts for 50 years before there ever was a movie!” Talk about sustainability!

How Far Will Nickelodeon Take Its Sports Identity?

NEW YORK, NY—MARCH 7, 2016: Is Nickelodeon carving out a new hybrid major league sports-entertainment genre for itself? Others have made efforts in this arena, but none on a platform as wide as Nick’s.

Nick went through a long dry spell as far as developing new, licensable IP. Not for lack of trying, but it isn’t an easy (or scientific, no matter how much testing) process.

Now Nickelodeon is expanding its two-hour Nicktoons sports programming block with the introduction of two high-profile new series produced by Rob Drydek, and one unique licensing program combining a sports figure and a hit animated property:

  • Crashletes is a video clip series hosted by New England Patriots’ player Rob Gronkowski;
  • Jagger Eaton’s Mega Life is a reality series starring teen skateboarder Jagger Eaton;
  • NBA star Carmelo Anthony, aka Melo, is behind an exclusive-to-Macy’s TMNT x Melo fashion line built around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Asked whether Nick will be able to create licensed merchandise incorporating Gronkowski and Eaton, the network’s Pam Kaufman told me at the Nick Upfront that they certainly hope to. “We’re figuring that out.”

turtles_x_melo_Joint licensing of sports and entertainment isn’t a new idea, but TMNT x Melo carries the concept several steps beyond the usual Warner Bros. or classic Disney characters on jerseys, teddy bears, and bobbleheads.

Success will breed plenty of imitators; that’s inevitable. But Nick can use a concept that has built-in renewability; its mix of sports and entertainment can expand with new athletes and be applied to new hit properties as they emerge.

It’s 17 years since SpongeBob SquarePants debuted on Nickelodeon. Sixteen years since the first Dora the Explorer episode. It wasn’t until 2012 that Nick revived TMNT, and 2013 that Paw Patrol began its run and that the revitalized Power Rangers re-emerged in their 20th season as Power Rangers Megaforce.

From a licensing perspective, that left Nick with a more than decade-long lull where, because there was no new breakthrough animated IP, the network’s consumer products division had to do its best reinventing SpongeBob and Dora to carry it. Warner Bros. has faced similar issues over the years, with DC Comics (Batman, especially, but Superman as well — even in non-movie years), Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry (at least outside the U.S.) and other classics tiding them over.

“Cross-licensing, primarily involving character/entertainment properties along with leagues, teams, and/or players, has long had a presence in the sports sector,” wrote Karen Raugust last month in her excellent trend-rooted RaugustReports blog. “Going back at least to the mid-1990s, the four major U.S. leagues were partnering with classic characters such as Peanuts, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Looney Tunes.

“The trend,” Raugust noted, “tends to ebb and flow cyclically, but has been on the upswing lately, with characters from Hello Kitty and Tokidoki to Domo and Betty Boop all being featured with team or athlete imagery on a range of merchandise, in association with the leagues and/or their players associations. The technique also has expanded internationally; examples range from Sesame Street and the Australian Football League to Smeshariki and the Zenit St. Petersburg soccer club in Russia, to name just two.”

With few exceptions (Disney had an NHL/Phineas & Ferb deal in 2011, and there have been several crossovers in Europe), these deals are character rather than program-driven, and are often promotional rather than based on long-term consumer products campaigns.

As for Nick’s current stable of properties, Paw Patrol — produced by Spin Master with Nick and Canada’s TVOKids — is the big recent new hit property and the reconstituted Turtles and Power Rangers have proven resilient as shows and on retail shelves with licensed merchandise.

Whether Nick can parlay Gronkowski’s and Eaton’s live action shows into merchandise, or whether they and other athletes can be teamed, so to speak, with others from Nick’s animated stable to build on this niche, remains to be seen. Nick is well-positioned, though, to make it happen.

Ira Mayer, former publisher and executive editor of The Licensing Letter, conducts competitive research and consults for marketers; takes clients on retail tours; and offers courses on licensing to corporations and at colleges and universities. You can reach him by clicking on the “Contact” button above left.

Ira’s Fearless Forecast: Sports Licensing 2015-2016

NEW YORK, NY; DECEMBER 15, 2015—Sports licensing rarely has a runaway hit that moves the needle up for the entire segment the way Star Wars is doing for entertainment licensing this year (see Fearless Forecast: Entertainment Licensing).

Historically, sports are more likely to face a negative impact from a strike, lockout or other labor dispute, or a public relations crisis (abusing girlfriends/wives, health issues such as concussions) than to experience a sudden surge.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.30.59 PMSports licensing is also spread across leagues, teams, and players most of whom have more or less local followings. So an uptick from, say, a team that hasn’t won a major title in some years or a player who achieves a record in his or her sport isn’t going to have as big an impact on the segment, nationally, as a whole.

All of which adds up to why sports licensing has essentially plateaued. For most leagues, teams and athletes, upsides are incremental and opportunistic. In the most extreme cases (a no-hitter, running record yardage in a single game, and so forth), the opportunism turns into a game of beating the pirates — lower case “p” intentional — who invariably seem able to be on the street with t-shirts before the game is over; this compares to licensees who will take days if not weeks to celebrate a sudden occasion.

Most of the upside activity in sports coalesces around a handful of trends we’ve seen over the past several years:

  • Personalization. Put your name on your favorite player’s team number and colors. Embroidery, heat transfers, and various types of instant printing are available in-store while you wait (not long) and online.
  • The Players Associations are becoming more aggressive. Many of their efforts center on marketing tie-ins that may or may not have licensing components. But even NFL and MLB Players Associations’ presence as exhibitors at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this past June spoke to the higher profile they are seeking.
  • Co-branding players using both their pro team and college insignias; PGA co-branded college, NFL, MLB , NBA and NHL golf gear; cartoon characters and leagues, and so on.Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.32.12 PM
  • International. American sports aren’t as developed internationally as are entertainment properties, but the NBA has been notable for its efforts at exposing kids in other countries to basketball. And the NBA, MLB and NHL all have some games being played in other countries as part of their efforts to increase overseas audiences and, ultimately, merchandise sales. Hockey merchandise sales continue to grow. Soccer is growing, albeit from a very small base; professional soccer has made slow but steady inroads in the U.S. but is invariably looked to as “the next big” whatever. (Some of us remember when global superstar player Pele was going to turn soccer into a mainstream American sport.)
  • Women. Alyssa Milano can’t be given enough credit for changing the attitude of the major leagues about what women will buy. It’s not about an oversized jersey women can wear as a nightshirt. And it’s not about pink. It’s about apparel designed and fitted for women, with a fashion-forward look that also appeals to the fan interest. Growth in the segment is slowing, but it still has substantial momentum. When it plateaus, it will be at a high level.
  • Growth in the stature of additional sports ranging from hockey and soccer to tennis and golf to lacrosse and jai-alai. (I recently heard of several schools offering bocce; I don’t see a big licensing opportunity there. Yet.)

Kids are the mystery ingredient for sports merchandising’s next growth spurt. For kids who play sports, the family budget is allotted to little league uniforms and gear. And its difficult to differentiate kid-oriented licensed sports merchandise in the way that women’s merchandise has achieved.

Ira’s Fearless Forecast: Barring any major catastrophes, labor stoppages, health issues or morals-based PR challenges, and thanks mostly to price increases, retail sales of licensed merchandise based on sports properties will continue modest growth of 2%-3% annually for 2015 and 2016.

Ira Mayer, former publisher and executive editor of The Licensing Letter, conducts competitive research and consults for companies in the licensing business; you can contact him by clicking on the “Contact” button above left.

Who Gets The Biggest Bump In Sales Of Licensed Merchandise From A World Series Win?

NEW YORK; October 22, 2015—Macy’s is on top of its game: The flagship Herald Square store rolled out (literally, on racks) a NY Mets display at the 7th Ave./34th Street entrance today. With Majestic, Nike, and Forever Collectibles t-shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys, and tote bags, it was a small array but prominent for sure. “This is all you have?” asked a woman who promptly went through the rack looking for the size she wanted.

Mets merchandise following its Pennant win at the entrance to the flagship Macy's in Herald Square.

Mets merchandise following its Pennant win at the entrance to the flagship Macy’s in Herald Square.

What does a Mets-Kansas City Royals or Toronto Blue Jays World Series matchup look like from a licensing perspective?

This should be a good year. What licensees don’t want is the same team winning two years in a row, or even two out of three years. As with a series of movies, fans buy their World Series memorabilia in year one; the second film in a series typically doesn’t do as well as the first. That follows for sports teams.

The Mets make it to the series on average every 15 years — 1969, 1986, 2000, 2015. Kansas City competed in the World Series last year, losing to the Giants, and hasn’t won a series since 1985. Toronto won back-to-back in 1992 and 1993 but haven’t been back since. So licensees are good on that count whoever wins. Plus, much of the merchandise during a Series is souvenir goods purchased at the venue and in local stores.

But which team in the 2015 World Series stands to see the biggest bump in merchandise sales? The Mets have a larger home market, though it’s hard to know if there are as many out-of-market fans as there are for the Yankees and the Red Sox. Still, that sizable home market means more customers for merchandise.Macys Mets Vertical 2

Most telling is that there are three Mets on Major League Baseball’s list of 20 most popular jerseys of the 2015 regular season: Matt Harvey (No. 9), David Wright (No. 11), and Jacob deGrom (No. 17). For the post-season, all three will clearly gain traction, with Harvey a good bet for topping the list if the Mets take the series. Maybe even if they don’t. Toronto’s Josh Donaldson is on the list at No. 12, but there are no Royals on the MLB best-seller list at all!

The irony: No. 1 on the regular season list is Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The Mets, of course, swept the Pennant series…from the Cubs.

Sidenote: The first jersey you see in the Macy’s Locker Room by Lids shop on the fourth floor is a woman’s Derek Jeter “team captain” model from Majestic. There’s very little Mets merchandise up there — it probably got moved to that high-profile location on the main floor, prompting one customer to be sent downstairs to find what he wanted.

NFL Kicks Off Super Bowl 50th Women’s Wear Looks

Using a mock fashion show-cum-blogger-reality-show-competition as a format, the NFL introduced the first Super Bowl 50th anniversary women’s wear tonight at a spacious gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The event featured three fashion bloggers — Christine Bibbo Herr (NYC Pretty), Liz Black (PS Its Fashion), and Heather Zeller (A Glam Slam) — designing outfits built around Super Bowl 50 shirts and sweaters for the models for athleisure, date night, etc. The Super Bowl 50 merchandise goes on sale October 15th.

Here are some of the shirts, along with a pair of non-Super Bowl shoes that would complete any look, and a few of the new team shirts for this year.

NFL shirt3 NFL shirt2 NFL shirt1

NFL Shoes NFL shirt5 NFL shirt4

Apparel licensees represented at the media event included Majestic, GIII, ’47 Brand, and Junk Food along with Lulu DK Tattoos. The latter retail for $9.99, are applied with water, and last 4-6 days.

The NFL estimates that 45% of its fans are women, though men’s wear continues to account for a much higher percentage of merchandise sales. I estimate the league did about $3.4 billion at retail worldwide in the 2014-2015 season.