Now that the Chicago Cubs’ 108-year winless drought has ended and the curse of the Billy Goat named Murphy has been extinguished, let’s see who the sports winners (besides the Chicago Cubs) are.
When the Boston Red Sox ended their 86 years of anguish in 2004, the Boston fans created one of the largest licensed merchandise sales events since the 1996 Subway Series. The Cubs success this week will no doubt eclipse the Boston win, in terms of merchandise sold.
Here are the winners, in no particular order:
VF Corporation: VF owns Majestic Athletic, the official licensee for MLB uniforms, both authentic and replica as well as other fan gear. As the largest MLB apparel licensee, Majestic will benefit mightily from the Cubs success.
New Era: New Era is the official headwear licensee for MLB. Baseball caps are a very important category for baseball, so we can expect New Era sales to rise after the Cubs victory.
Genesco: Genesco is the owner of Lids and Lids Locker Room. As the largest physical store retailer of sports licensed products, we can expect fans to flock there for Cubs gear.
Fanatics: NPD’s BrandLink survey tells us that most MLB fans do not live in the same city as their favorite team. The diaspora of Chicagoans has created Cubs fans all over the nation. Online licensed behemoth Fanatics will leverage these “displaced fans.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods: As the largest sports retailer in the Windy City and northern Midwest, Dick’s was ready for the Cubbies win, opening their doors shortly after the final out. The fever for championship merchandise is greatest right after the win, and Dick’s was there to reap the benefits for the fervor.
Nike and Under Armour: Both Nike and UA have sub-licensed to make some Cubs products and will achieve some nice sales. The results will be singles, not home runs.