you didn't buy enough kits! MLS merch sales vs the Big 9

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by cosmojado, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. cosmojado

    cosmojado Member

    Oct 18, 2002
    in sin
    many a thread wonder how MLS measures up to other leagues. you've seen them......most of them are all based on nothing more than tv ratings and speculation by somebody sitting on their butt at their computer and usually full of venom and hate for other leagues/sports. Don't get me wrong I know there are many on BS that do love other sports, but they usually don't fret about MLS nearly as much as the myopic soccer fan.

    but now here are some numbers to crunch on profits from sales of licensed sports merchandise in 2004. way to go! MLS made the top 10. although I have no idea what 7 & 8 are (everlast worldwide? do that many people buy boxing shorts? educate if you know just what everlast worldwide is.......same goes for Players Inc). WWE is in 9th and they whooped MLS.

    so Big Soccer.........for christmas I give you stats

    enjoy

    1) MLB: $3.5 billion
    2) NFL: $3.4
    3) NBA: $3.0
    4) Collegiate Lic Co: $2.8
    5) NASCAR: $2.1
    6) NHL: $1.5
    7) Players Inc: $750 million
    8) Everlast Worldwide: $600
    9) WWE: $450
    10) MLS: $120 million


    source License! Magazine, Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Assn via 12-25-05 LA Times

    i guess the numbers will increase for 2006 since all the teams will wind up with new adidas kits.......but will that really make a dent?
     
  2. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I think "Players, Inc" is the NFLPA marketing arm.

    120 million seems a bit high. That's 10 million/team or over half a million per home game.

    or somewhere in the neighborhood of $30/attendee.

    Obviously the figures include mostly store purchases, but if MLS averages $30/year/attendee, then the future really is bright.
     
  3. chapulincolorado

    Jul 14, 1999
    McAllen, Texas
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    Not bad. $120 Million. MLS still got longs ways to go before they get to NHL leves. But. Considering the limited sources to getting MLS merchandize, I can see where there still room for improvement. One major boost should be MLS contract with ADIDAS. Hopefully this will open more market venues. Hopefully.
     
  4. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    I remember reading sometime this year that Man Utd sold more kits than all the MLS teams combined. Here it is:

    CNN - 5/13/2005

    According to SportsScan Info, a sales tracking service, Man U has sold more licensed jerseys in the United States year to date than all the MLS teams combined.

    Granted it's not a huge number -- about 2,500 shirts at 12,000 stores nationwide. But it's more than the number of uniforms sold by Glazer's cross-bay rivals Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and it tops sales totals of 19 out of the 24 U.S. National Hockey League teams (OK, maybe that's not a fair fight).
     
  5. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    One thing that ManU and most NHL teams have in common is that during big games, virtually everyone in the stadium will be wearing a team jersey.

    I go to a lot of sporting events, and nothing compares to NHL games when it comes to wearing team gear. Not $25 t-shirts or $40 sweatshirts, but the $65-90 replicas.
     
  6. chapulincolorado

    Jul 14, 1999
    McAllen, Texas
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    Well. That doesn't surprise me. Aside from the fact that perhaps the general non-soccer public might have heard more about Man Utd. than an MLS team, the availability of EPL jerseys if far "easier" than MLS. In my local mall, the local Champs Store carries EPL jerseys, but nary an MLS one.
     
  7. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    My suspicion is MLS makes most of its money on cheaper license products. Balls, tee shirts, scarves, etc, rather than more expensive items like replica shirts.

    That said, if they really made $120 Million in 2004, wow, that's pretty impressive.

    For stats I give you rep.
     
  8. CMeszt

    CMeszt Member+

    Fire Crown 4 Life (or until they change it again)
    Jan 9, 2004
    Soldier Field Media Deck. First Row.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    one dc united jersey purchased... doing my part...
     
  9. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    By the way, the Times info is found here:
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-newmerch25dec25,1,4431136.story

    Bottom of page 2 to top of Page 3. The article itself is really about USC.


    I also found interesting the table oftop 10 categories for collegiate merchandise. Presumably pro sports are a little different, but it still helps figure out what people buy:

    TOP-SELLING CATEGORIES FOR COLLEGIATE LICENSED MERCHANDISE
    1. T-shirts
    2. Headwear
    3. Electronics/video games
    4. Fleece
    5. Outerwear
    6. Women's apparel
    7. Youth apparel
    8. Miscellaneous apparel
    9. Fashion apparel
    10. Replica team apparel

    So replicas in college aren't high on the list.
     
  10. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    Yep. And this restores the NFL/players to the number 1 status you'd expect them to have.

    Everlast is boxing, but that isn't all they do, IIRC. And boxing does require a heckuvalot of equipment.

    Well, one thing from the category list below is that MLS may get a good deal of its money through video games and such that do not directly come from an individual buying a team product (or even necessarily knowing they paid a license fee).

    Most surprising thing to me is no golf. I guess people don't buy as much PGA stuff.
     
  11. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Either that, or players control their own marketing.

    In which case, I'm surprised that there's no Tiger Woods.
     
  12. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    At $30/game attended, I assume you've only been to two games. :p
     
  13. Roma_Wolves

    Roma_Wolves New Member

    May 4, 2004
    Austin, Texas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I wonder what the stats break down to team-wise. I wonder if they correspond to attendance levels and/or local tv broadcasting availability.
     
  14. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    If MLS merchandise didn't usually stink I'd buy more of it. A lot more of it.

    And ... FOR THE LOVE OF FREAKING GOD ... why the ******** can't I buy a freaking DC United coffee mug!?

    I'd buy at least three of them right now if they were available.
     
  15. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Plano
    Golfers don't wear jerseys....they simply wear polo shirts made by a variety of clothing manufacturers. They get no credit for the sales they influence of those shirts. When Tiger wore the maroon Nike polo during his first Masters win, I was working for the atheletic apparel buying dept of a major retailer. Sales of that particular shirt shot up significantly. But he gets no credit for that sale. When is the last time you saw anyone wearing PGA liscensed merchandise?
     
  16. irishapple21

    irishapple21 Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    A state of confusion
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I wanted to buy a couple of MetroStars jerseys earlier this year, but with the insanity that it MLSgear leading the way, I decided to wait. If BigSoccerShop picks up customized Metro jerseys for 2006, I'll purchase from them, because my experience ordering from them was sooooo much easier than what I experienced from MLSgear. It took maybe five days for me to receive the customized Beckham Team England jersey I ordered for my girlfriend for Christmas. MLS needs to get their butts in gear and improve their merchandise web site if they want to improve merchandise sales. Team web sites for gear would be nice too.

    I purchase a ton of merchandise off eBay too, because it's so much easier to get than going through MLSgear. Most other soccer retailers online don't carry enough MLS stuff.
     
  17. Wizardscharter

    Wizardscharter New Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Blue Springs, MO
    Me too.

    Maybe it's a sign that you should quit drinking coffee.

    OR

    Put up a flyer at your local art school to have one painted and fired for you. Somebody would do it just as a project for class I would think.
     
  18. Geneva

    Geneva LA for Life

    Feb 5, 2003
    Southern Cal
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My husband bought me a Galaxy championship tshirt and a Galaxy scarf for Christmas. He said there was no place in Orange County to buy any gear - he had to drive 45 minutes to the Home Depot Center. And at the shop there, they don't have all of the Galaxy gear we're used to seeing at the vendors during the game. And when he called they told him the wrong open hours. (my hero!!)

    I agree, the Galaxy needs to work on their line of stuff for sale, and making sure it's available. I was at a game this year where the temperature dropped like a rock after the sun went down, and you couldn't find sweatshirts or blankets at the stores. That shouldn't happen (easy for me to say!)
     
  19. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    What sort of madman are you for even suggesting such a thing? Might as well quit breathing ...
    I've considered a Cafepress mug using the never-used prototype shield in my avatar.

    That's sort of like the scarves we had made on the DC United board ...

    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=197739&highlight=scarves

    Not that there weren't a few glitches and delays with that affair. Still, that project certainly testified to a pent up demand for quality MLS products.
     
  20. Wizardscharter

    Wizardscharter New Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Blue Springs, MO
    Many problems with merchandise marketing. First is structural. It's tough to do it as best as possible because the economies of scale simply don't demand it. In short, there isn't enough demand to force that things be done tip top. I know it's backwards. Mid 20's low paid marketing grads are not going to produce EPL standard. MLS is focusing on the bilking of taxpayers nationwide. They will get to smaller detail of efficiently bilking fans soon enough.

    Second is a laundry list of little reasons. There isn't enough good stuff, most scarfs lack quality, items not worth price, black is too prevalent, jerseys sometimes dissimilar to ones on the field ("Kansas City" left off all jerseys sold at stadium until this past season, etc.), players turnover on whim, some teams lack history, 3 teams have no history at all, and 3 have disappeared.

    MLS fan groups are growing to a point where it will be manditiory to show up in proper color just like every other league in the US, but somehow isn't there yet. Apparently not everyone grew up in a well supported college town or Green Bay, WI.
     
  21. Wizardscharter

    Wizardscharter New Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Blue Springs, MO
     
  22. Freddy Garcia Lives

    Feb 28, 2003
    Tumwater, WA
    I thought that apperal might become more available when the Addidas deal was signed. Has anyone seen any signs that this might be taking place? I know it is hard for many vendors to carry them when they have to commit store space and have minimum purchase requirements that often are more then can be reasonably sold.

    My hang up is $75 for a replica jersey. I have three England replica jerseys because I've been able to pay less than $30 for each in England on sales (and yes they are authentic). $75 dollars is just still a little rich for my blood. I would be willing to pay less for a replica that wasn't a dry weave, I ain't playing in the thing anyway.
     
  23. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, you could waite until they are going to change jersey's and then get them on sale. At the end of this season, you could get pretty much everyone's jerseys for $40 or less. I'm sure that's how you got your England kits cheaper, when they had rolled out a new one.
     
  24. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Amen. I am stunned they are even at $120M with their complete ineptness in this area. My wife got me a DCU t-shirt for Christmas and I am absolutely stunned that she had a smooth experience with MLSgear.com.

    Of course, the shirt I got, which I had wanted to buy for myself anyway, isn't available online anymore. Not even a picture of it. Morons.

    My solution for the coffee mug was donations to United fror DC a couple of years ago, but they may have changed their swag for new donations.
     
  25. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Part of it is the expectation of the marketplace. "Replicas" for sports in the U.S. typically mean $60-80. Regardless of quality or sport. Other countries are used to paying less.

    I remember the 1999 Nike Cup in San Diego, the Nike souvenier stand was selling U.S. jerseys for $75 and Mexico jerseys for $30. They cost the same to make, but the target markets were different.

    Heck, the following day, I was in Tijiuana where I was able to buy all the Mexican club jerseys I wanted for $12/each. Good quality stuff, too.

    If you want to buy the current model in the U.S., you're going to either have to pay top dollar - or buy knockoff crap that doesn't help support the league or its sponsors.

    Oddly, I've been able to pick up several game worn authentic jerseys cheaper than off the rack replicas at charity games or charity auctions. A few years ago at one of the Talley charity games, I had someone pick me up long sleeve home/away/gk Wizards jerseys for a total of $160 at the silent auction. When you consider there were probably well over 50 jerseys on auction (including all the jerseys worn in the game), and the crowd was only a few thousand, there were bargains to be had. (For the record, I now own 2 Bo Oshoniyi jerseys :eek: )
     

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