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Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show
Day 3

Quality Buyers Drive Success of Show
Retailers Get Down to Serious Business
January 23, 2009

When the doors swung open on the Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show Wednesday morning, the truth is no one knew exactly what to expect. As Day Three wheeled into action, exhibitors had seen enough to draw specific conclusions.

The consensus on the buyers who were shopping the show was that they were highly focused on finding and buying new products. The buyers themselves confirmed this—for them this was a serious buying show, not a Vegas vacation.

Todd Middleton and Lauren Larson enjoy a banner show at the Winning Streak Sports exhibit.

“We make a huge year-round effort to bring in quality buyers,” said Show Director Ann Keusch. “In a climate like this, that effort makes all the difference. There are thousands of terrific new money-making products here, and from what we are hearing and seeing no one was shy about spending money to bring that product into their stores.”

Winning Streak Sports, which makes vintage banners and pennants—including a new line of Super Bowl banners—saw a steady stream of those buyers in its sweeping exhibit. “The first day we were swamped from beginning to end,” said Jay Chaffee. “The second day was more sporadic but we had customers in the booth right to the closing. They had to run us out so they could shut the lights off.” Chaffee concurred that the quality of buyers was very high.

Jeff Parker and Richard Lopez of Ice It bring a little fashion to the show.

Ric Wigginton of Broad Bay said the buyers he saw were serious about doing business. “That’s what everybody expects coming here,” he explained. “You get good face time with customers you want to see.” Broad Bay’s NCAA licensed scrubs were attracting a lot of attention, he said.

Frank Radell of Norwood House Press was telling the same story. He reported solid sales of his NCAA and MLB kids books, and was also pleased about the connections he made with distributors and reps exhibiting here. “You can get so much business done when you’re dealing with someone face to face,” he said.

According to Jeff Parker, Ice It came to the show hoping to expand the sales force for its upscale, fashionable NCAA and NHL apparel for women. “We accomplished all our goals here,” he said. “We had a really good show, we found good salespeople and the buyers were buying. We offer something different that helps stores generate new customers, and in this economy I think that will be a key.”

Magnetic dartboards were right on target for Ken Brickman this week.

First-timer Mark Pohl of Ewatchfactory wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. He met with three major online retailers the first day and as a result as three immediate projects in the works for Super Bowl XLIII.

Given the uncertain economic times, Ken Brickman of Big League Promotions said the turnout was much better than he expected. “The show did a good job in the face of great challenges,” he said. His advice to industry peers? “With what’s going on in the world today…if you have great products that sell, stick with them.”



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