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Sports Licensing & entertainment Marketplace
Sports Licensed and Tailgate Industry Green-Light January 2008 Show
Buyers, Sellers & Leagues Confirm Need for Strong Trade Event

Time is money. And when there is money to be made in the licensed sports business, timing is important. These two ideas converged in discussions with licensors, licensed manufacturers and licensed buyers in the days following the Sports Licensing & Entertainment Marketplace and Tailgate • Picnic Show, which debuted in Las Vegas last November.

The result of these talks was a clear, across-the-board consensus: The industry wants and needs a robust annual trade event.

Thus the next Sports Licensing & Entertainment Marketplace and Tailgate • Picnic Show will be held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, January 16 to 18, 2008 at a new venue, the Sands/Venetian Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click here to read the entire story.

Tailgate Picnic Show



A Cal backboard cover from HoopFX.

The Bank is Open
HoopFX Scoring Big with Licensed Backboard Covers
April 3, 2007

With hoops fans smack in the middle of March Madness, no on questions America’s fascination with basketball. That includes James Hale, the founder and CEO of HoopFX. His company makes backboard covers that feature college logos. He came up with the idea two years ago after noticing the popularity of licensed collegiate and NBA products.

“I took stock of the entire marketplace and wanted to develop a relevant product—something that fans could actually use,” says Hale. “I focused on the backboard and wondered if a cover could be made that didn’t impact the bounce of the ball. The final solution looked good and worked well.”

Big 10 teams like Wisconsin are popular items for HoopFX.

It also caught the attention of the folks at CLC. HoopFX currently holds 10 licenses, including national powerhouses Kansas, Wisconsin and Louisville. Memphis and Nevada are the two latest additions to the fold. “Getting licensed was a big challenge,” says Hale. “It’s always tough for a new company offering a new product.”

For sure, retailers and consumers have taken note, too. At $39.95, HoopFX covers are priced well, and they require just a few minutes to install. It’s their style and utility, however, that attract the most attention. “When you’re introducing a new product, there’s an education curve,” says Hale. “We’ve passed the first test—the ‘Wow, that’s cool’ response. “

HoopFX received a similar reaction from no less an expert that ESPN. In fact, the company’s covers will be part of the gift package offered to presenters and honorees at this year’s ESPY Awards ceremony. “We view this as real validation for HoopFX,” says Hale.

Illinois is another big seller for HoopFX.

He also sees this recognition as a way to explore new markets. HoopFX covers are presently sold in college bookstores and through specialty retailers. But Hale is looking to expand further. HoopFX is actively searching for national distribution partners and hopes to have a deal in place by the spring. The company is also exploring customized covers. “For example,” says Hale, “you can personalize them with a picture of your son or daughter taking a jumper.”

Acquiring new licenses is on the HoopFX radar screen, too. “The NBA is an obvious one,” says Hale. “I’m also intrigued by NASCAR. There seems to be a great fit there.”

Of course, given that some 30 million Americans own backboards, where wouldn’t HoopFX be a good fit?



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