Steady and Strong...Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show Reflects Upswing in Economy
Exhibit Floor a Sellout; Business Up Across the Board
(Las Vegas, NV - February 10, 2012) America's unquenchable passion for sports generates countless billions in consumer spending-year in and year out, across every conceivable demographic. This powerful force was on display once again at the 2012 Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, held last month in Las Vegas from January 11 to 13. More than 300 manufacturers and 5,700 retail buyers attended the trade-only event, which has grown steadily since its first year in 2006. The 2012 show was no exception.
After a jump in attendance of 26% from 2010 to 2011, the challenge for show producer Showproco LLC was to keep those numbers moving upward, while increasing the number of exhibitors offering new products. The number of buyers in attendance rose from 5,688 in 2011 to 5,748, while the number of exhibitor booths climbed more than 15% to 589.
"What the numbers tell us is that these are two healthy industries," says Marti Soroka, Director of Buyer Relations. "Also, when you look inside the numbers, what you see is the interrelationship between sports licensing and tailgating products. The end consumers for the two industries represented at this show are one in the same-or at least share the same passion for their favorite teams and sports."
Indeed, a look at the 2012 buyers reveals that 56% indicated they were shopping for Sports Licensing and Tailgating merchandise. About 30% said they were in Las Vegas to buy Licensed only, while 14% listed Tailgating as their target buying category. The largest group of buyers was made up of Distributors and Rep Groups (20%), followed by Gift/Souvenir/Specialty Shops (17%), Sporting Goods (14%), Online/ E-Tail (11%), and Grocery/Convenience (9%). If taken as a group, buyers from Pro and College Teams, College Bookstores and Stadium Concessionaries added up to a whopping 19%. Buyers from Department Stores and Wholesale Clubs made up a combined 8%.
A large number of major retailers sent buyers to the show, including Macy's, Nordstrom's, Target, Walmart, Sears/K-Mart, BJs Wholesale, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, Champs, Lids, Barnes & Noble, Follett and several professional sports teams, including the Yankees and Cowboys. The geographical distribution of buyers was divided fairly evenly. California sent the highest percentage of any state (12%), with the NY/NJ/CT region sending 12%, too. The Deep South region (including Florida) was a point of origin for 11% of the show's buyers. Texas (5%), the Mid-Atlantic states (5%) and the Southwest (7%) were also well-represented. The number of international buyers totaled 144, with 104 coming from Canada.
"The strength and consistency of the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show sends a very positive message to both industries," says Hardy Katz, Show Director. "We have created a rock-solid foundation that will enable us to build this event into something that will address the goals and interests of exhibiting manufacturers and attending buyers better and better with each passing year."
Among the highlights of the three-day convention were a Tailgate Style Show and Ultimate Tailgate Party at the House of Blues (both presented by Corona Extra), luncheon panels on Social Media and Tailgating Event- Planning (both presented by the Tailgating Industry Association), and a Tailgate Pitch Tank, featuring Kevin Harrington (an event created in conjunction with Tailgating Industry Association). There was also a noticeable increase in media attention, including film crews from NBC and FOX.
In 2013, the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show will be relocating to the Las Vegas Convention Center and moving its dates to January 17-19. The new venue enables the show to remake and expand its floorplan and, more importantly, accommodate a grilling demo area that will draw many more tailgating exhibitors-and consequently bring in more buyers from an ever-widening range of categories.
"Our motto for 2013 is 'Can't Miss - Don't Miss' and that is the goal for the show," says Stanley Schwartz, Show Director. "We will be spending the next 11 months reaching out to buyers in new ways with new messages, making sure they understand the incredible opportunities that await them here. We foresee unprecedented demand for the kind of innovative and imaginative products that you see in our aisles year after year."
ShowProCo, LLC is lead by the experienced trade show staff of Communications and Show Management, Inc. (CSM), which has owned and produced industry trade shows for more than 35 years. Past shows include the Tennis Industry's National Buying Show and the Fitness Industry Buying Show. CSM also managed The Super Show, focused on sporting goods, for 21 years.