This year’s Dodger playoff run was without a doubt the most memorable since 1988, with the small caveat of that painful game 6 NLCS exit at the hands of the Cardinal way. The 2013 Dodgers were must-see TV after the arrival of Yasiel Puig, who presented the club with a dilemma we’d all be so fortunate to have to deal with: What to do with lightning in a bottle wrapped in a charismatic Cuban veneer? Interestingly enough, the question of “how to manage the Puig phenomenon” posed a welcome challenge both on the field and in the Dodgers back office as well – particularly in merchandising and marketing.

It’s no surprise that the Dodgers have won the 2013 MLB Club Retailer of the Year award. They not only put Puig #66 jerseys on the backs of just about every man, woman, and child in the Southland, but the club’s merchandise and retail departments also concocted several successful promotions and partnerships that had never before been attempted by a major league club. The team’s award citation notes:

“The Dodgers opened the 2013 season with the highest per cap (average amount sold per fan) in the league and a fifty percent increase in overall sales. Contributing to the increase was the transformation of the ballpark retail experience for fans with additions like mannequins featuring the starting line-up in each main store. In addition, the Dodgers maximized their relationship with licensees by introducing a first-of-its-kind Nike Hat Wall and embracing opportunities with Hello Kitty among other licensees.”

More background on the award: “Since its inception in 2005, the MLB ‘Club Retailer of the Year’ award has been awarded based on a combination of sales, vendor/customer feedback and creative marketing and merchandising efforts.”

We’ll be looking forward to see what the club comes up with next spring around the merchandising for the season’s two game opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia. That’s right, Australia.

Speaking of far-Eastern outreach by our local club, there’s always the challenge of how best to merchandise and market their Korean pitching star, Hyun Jin Ryu. Something tells us the team may or may not have signed off on this amazing spot featuring Ryu literally inhaling some ready-from-the-packet noodles. You can enjoy that below. In the meantime…

Congratulations again, Dodgers, on your successful retail and merchandising year. We wish you continued success in 2014 both on the field and in the shops.

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