Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
May 6, 2014: The Albuquerque Isotopes, Carolina Mudcats, Columbus Clippers, Corpus Christi Hooks, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Sacramento River Cats and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders may not be top of mind with baseball fans and consumers, but they are among the top 25 Minor League Baseball teams in licensed merchandise sales for 2013.
MiLB unveiled its list of top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales, which, combined with the other 135 teams under the MiLB auspices, topped $55.4 million in retail sales for 2013. MiLB did not break out slaes figures per team or list them in order by sales.
The total is the second highest sales figure behind 1994 for the licensing program since its inception in 1992 and a 2.6% rise from the previous year, according to MiLB.
The total licensed merchandise sales were calculated for Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2013, and are based on the 160 teams in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games.
Online sales increased 27% from the previous year, according to data compiled by Baseball Internet Rights Company. That has continued into 2014, where online sales saw a 28% growth through the end of April vs. the same time period in the previous year.
In 2013, the clubs that charge admission attracted more than 41.2 million fans to their ballparks.
The news comes on the heels of MiLB signing a pact to air 15 Thursday night games nationally this season on the CBS Sports Network.
"The Top 25 list reflects the popularity of Minor League Baseball team names and logos not only among all baseball fans, but with casual observers and celebrities as well," Sandie Hebert, director of licensing for MiLB, said in a statement. "The popularity of our logos is due in part to the fact that our marks are fresh, inventive and most of all, fun. Each team has its own unique identity."
"The Top 25 list reflects the popularity of MiLB team names and logos not only among all baseball fans, but also with casual observers and celebrities."
The MiLB online store platform currently hosts 143 live sites which includes both team and league sites. Of the top 25 teams, 24 have online stores using the MiLB platform.
According to Herbert, "With fans now having the ability to shop for merchandise in both team stores and online, we continue to expand Minor League Baseball's reach through branding efforts. Minor League Baseball merchandise bridges the gap between on-field authenticity and fashion."
MiLB Top 25 Teams In Licensed Merchandise Sales 2013 (listed alphabetically):
Albuquerque Isotopes, Carolina Mudcats, Columbus Clippers, Corpus Christi Hooks, Durham Bulls, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Hillsboro Hops, Indianapolis Indians, Lake Elsinore Storm, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lansing Lugnuts, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Midland RockHounds, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Portland Sea Dogs, Reading Fightin Phils, Reno Aces, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Toledo Mud Hens, Trenton Thunder and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Q&A: First MiLB CMO Comes Out Swinging
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