Make us your home page
Instagram
Uniform evolves

Rays' revitalization extends beyond field

The win-loss column isn't the only place where the Tampa Bay Rays are doing well. As the Rays hover around first place, they're also succeeding nicely in sporting goods stores, online and on television.

With slightly more than a quarter of the 2008 Major League Baseball season in the books, sales of Rays merchandise have risen faster than all but one other big league club — the National League champion Colorado Rockies. The Rays have shown a 70 percent increase in sales over last year, but the team still ranks second to last in total market share, ahead of only the Toronto Blue Jays, according to SportScan INFO, which tracks retail sporting goods sales.

Four teams — the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox — account for half of the market share. Ten teams have less than a 1 percent share, including the Rays, who sit at No. 29 out of 30 with a 0.51 percent share.

"They are showing some nice increases," said Matt Powell, a SportScan analyst. "But I seriously doubt they can jump all the way from half of 1 percent of the market to 5 or 10 percent. I'd be astonished if they moved into the top 10.

"It's a great team to watch. But the market is too small."

Still, Rays merchandise is selling far better. Team chief sales officer Mark Fernandez believes that if only retail numbers are used (and stadium sales were excluded), sales of Rays merchandise could fall into the upper third. "That's the message I'm getting from our retailers," Fernandez said.

Fernandez credits a change in the team's name, its uniform design and its performance. And the success has rubbed off. Visits to the team's Web site were up nearly 8 percent in past six weeks, Fernandez said. TV viewership is up about 15 percent.

"Last Saturday, we had 63,000 households in the Tampa Bay area watching the Rays-Cardinals game from St. Louis. And it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon here. That tells me (watching the Rays) has become appointment viewing for a lot of people."

Tom Zucco can be reached at zucco@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8247.

Rays' revitalization extends beyond field 05/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 23, 2008 10:43am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project

    Health

    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
[SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]