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Buckeyes By the Book
Norwood House Sports Series Targets Young Ohio State Fans
May 26, 2008

The numbers do not lie. Ohio State’s rich and glorious football tradition makes the cash register ring for countless retailers in the Buckeye state and beyond. Products developed for kids— from team-colored onesies to Buckeye school bags—make up an ever-increasing share of revenues for Ohio State. New to the Ohio State family of licensed products is Team Spirit: The Ohio State Buckeyes, a colorful, information-packed book aimed at young readers (as well as the young at heart). It will be available in time for the 2008 football season.

The publisher, Norwood House Press, is also a Major League Baseball licensee. At this winter’s Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show, Norwood House unveiled its line of 30 baseball paperbacks (one for each team). Many of those titles are now being sold in and around Major League ballparks.

“It was a productive show for us in a number of ways,” says Sales Director Frank Radell. “In addition to building our retailer base for the baseball titles, we made great connections with the college licensing people. This Ohio State book will be the first of many.”

The Team Spirit series is written by Mark Stewart, who has authored more than 200 non-fiction sports books for kids. Norwood House uses input from educational experts, content consultants, and adult fans in the production of this series. The books explore every aspect of a team in a lively and imaginative format—from its top players and coaches to its storied traditions and relationship with fans.

“These are smart books for kids who love sports,” says Stewart. “There is a lot of culture and history for a young Ohio State fan to absorb. We capture the important themes and great moments in a way that helps young readers understand what it means to be a Buckeye.”

Norwood House Press publisher Patti Hall, whose company also handles the Matt Christopher fiction series, decided to move forward with the college series after realizing that there was nothing filling this extraordinary niche in a booming marketplace.

“Kids want to share the knowledge and passion that adult fans have for the Buckeyes,” says Hall. “Yet despite all of the product on the market, at present there is nothing we saw that an Ohio State student or alumni can hand a young child or grandchild and say, ‘This is what the fuss is all about.’ The Team Spirit books are written and edited to the highest education standards, and they are full of exciting photos, fun stories, and great memorabilia.”

Norwood House Press will announce several more college titles for 2009 this summer.



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