Make us your home page
Instagram

Tampa's a hot market for Super Bowl apparel sales

How do they make those Super Bowl champions hats and T-shirts to outfit the winning team at the final whistle?

Easy. They make them in advance, then collect and shred the losers' versions.

Welcome to the so-called "hot market" of licensed sports merchandise that's now as familiar to Super Bowl hoopla as confetti cannons. Dating from onetime Nutmeg Industries in the 1990s, Tampa's been a cradle of this industry that rushes the winning team's goods to market as soon as the game ends. Today, team-specific goods touting playoff champs are as much as 15 percent of annual licensed sports apparel sales. In Major League Baseball, it's hit 20 percent.

"These are emotional buys for fans who want something that says they were there and are willing to pay a premium for it," said Marty Brochstein, senior vice president of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association.

The silk screen machines at Nutmeg successor VF Imagewear will run all night once the Super Bowl is settled Sunday. Across the bay in St. Petersburg, LogoHQ, which recently changed its name from Full Bore Promotions, revved up its 18-color presses to make the championship Reebok locker room T-shirts to be worn by the winning players after the game.

"On Super Bowl night, we catch the halftime score, then pay close attention in the third quarter to set up the presses for the winner," said Phil Ruzicka, president of Logo HQ, poised to crank out 2,000 Reebok T-shirts an hour. Reebok also hired local printers to do the same thing in Pittsburgh and Arizona.

Some new elements to the battle plan: Super Bowl retailers around Raymond James Stadium will be stocked after the game to sell hats and apparel with the champion's name to fans on their way to hotels or the airport. For the first time, Reebok's championship T's will be made of organic cotton with hang tags of recycled material. The green stitching in the shoulder is both a hint of ecofriendliness and to make the shirts stand out on TV.

Hot marketers love TV exposure. Product handlers storm the bench, putting hats and shirts first in the hands of players likely to be interviewed: head coach, quarterback and game MVP.

Officially, product makers have no favorite. Privately they root for the Steelers. That's because Steelers merchandise — like Green Bay, Chicago and the New York teams — built a national following that buys four times as much as Arizona Cardinals rooters.

Tampa's a hot market for Super Bowl apparel sales 01/28/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 11:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle town

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  2. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]
  3. Former CEO of Winn-Dixie parent joining Hong Kong company

    News

    The former CEO of the Jacksonville-based parent of Winn-Dixie grocery stores, Ian McLeod, has landed a new leadership role in Hong Kong. He is joining the pan-Asian based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. as group chief executive.

    Ian McLeod, who is stepping down as the CEO of the parent company of Winn-Dixie, has been hired by Dairy Farm International Holdings. 
[Photo courtesy of Southeastern Grocers]
  4. PolitiFact: Gillibrand claim ignores the cost of a paid leave program

    Business

    The statement

    A national paid leave program "would potentially put into the economy $21 billion annually."

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., left, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters during a news conference about the Family Act, Tuesday, March 14, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) DCMC106
  5. UberEATS expands to more cities within Tampa Bay

    Business

    TAMPA — UberEATS is expanding its service area in Tampa Bay. Starting today, users in Gibsonton, Odessa, New Port Richey, Riverview and Tarpon Springs can have food dropped off at their location.

    UberEATS is expanding its service area in Tampa Bay. [Courtesy of UberEATS]