Following a strong 2015, Minor League Baseball licensed merchandise sales had a banner year in 2016, when a new record was set. Overall, the league’s 160 teams combined to for more than $68.3 million in retail sales.
The $68.3 million total marks a 5.06 percent increase over 2015’s total of $65.1 million, which had been the highest total recorded since Minor League Baseball’s licensing program began in 1992.
The numbers are based on total licensed merchandise sales from January 1 – December 31, 2016, and include the 160 teams in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games. The Top 25 list includes (alphabetically): Charlotte Knights, Columbia Fireflies*, Columbus Clippers, Corpus Christi Hooks*, Dayton Dragons, Durham Bulls, El Paso Chihuahuas, Fresno Grizzlies*, Frisco RoughRiders, Indianapolis Indians, Iowa Cubs*, Lake Elsinore Storm, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Louisville Bats, Nashville Sounds, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Omaha Storm Chasers*, Portland SeaDogs*, Richmond Flying Squirrels*, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, South Bend Cubs, Tacoma Rainiers, Toledo Mud Hens and Trenton Thunder. *indicates teams not on the 2015 list.
“Minor League Baseball team names and logos continue to be some of the most creative and fun in all of professional sports and are valuable marketing tools for their clubs,” said Sandie Hebert, Minor League Baseball’s director of licensing. “Each year a few teams choose to create new identities and it’s always interesting to see the fan reaction and how that translates into merchandise sales.”
In addition to strong online sales, Minor League Baseball has also expanded its retail line into stores across the country, featuring items from MiLB licensees such as New Era Cap, 47 Brand, Bimm Ridder, Original Retro Brand, Outdoor Cap, Gear for Sports’ Under Armour line and Nike.
“In addition to buying merchandise at the ballpark or online, you can now find Minor League Baseball products in many popular retail locations around the country,” added Hebert. “The ever-increasing popularity of Minor League Baseball has helped create another year of record-breaking sales and further solidifies the Minor League Baseball brand as a fan favorite.”
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