Sports On The Rebound: Retail Sales Of Licensed Merchandise Based On Sports Properties Rises 5.3% in 2011
NEW YORK-June 1, 2012: Retail sales of licensed merchandise based on sports leagues and events were up 5.3% in the U.S. and Canada in 2011, according to The Licensing Letter, an independent trade publication. Retail sales in 2011 were $12.79 billion, versus $12.15 billion the previous year.
Major League Baseball and the National Football League, the two market leaders with close to a 25% share each, propelled the increase for the sports sector as a whole by experiencing growth rates in 2011 of 5.5% to $3.1 billion and 5.3% to $3.0 billion, respectively.
Major League Soccer, a relatively new league working off a smaller base, saw a significant rise in retail sales in 2011 - up 25% to $394 million, thanks to an expanding and ever more avid fan base; a new stadium in Kansas City; new franchises in Portland and Vancouver; and a championship team, the L.A. Galaxy, from a populated and soccer-savvy city.
The National Basketball Association managed an increase of 2.1% in the U.S. and Canada to $2.0 billion, despite a lockout that cut its season short, only ending December 8. (The Licensing Letter tracks sales by calendar year; the leagues' fiscal years vary depending on when their seasons occur.)
The National Hockey League saw a gain of 5.8% to $887 million.
NASCAR continues to struggle after refocusing its business in recent years, seeing retail sales remain flat in 2011 at $887 million.
"While this data focuses on the U.S./Canada, international markets are where many of the leagues and other sports entities have been expanding in recent years," says Ira Mayer, Publisher of The Licensing Letter. "The NBA and MLB are making particularly strong efforts internationally."
This survey does not include services or licensed retail stores. Some sports licensors, such as the PGA Tour, see significant business in these sectors.
Retail sales of collegiate merchandise, which are tallied separately from professional sports, increased 5.1% in 2011 to $3.32 billion, according to The Licensing Letter.
Contact: Ira Mayer, Publisher, The Licensing Letter; email@example.com; 212-941-1633, ext. 27.
About The Licensing Letter
The Licensing Letter delivers retail sales data, news of deals, contact information, and trend analysis to owners of intellectual property, their agents, retailers, and the manufacturers who market licensed merchandise. The Licensing Letter is published by EPM Communications, Inc. EPM is a member, but independent of, the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA).