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NFL LICENSING

‘Homegating’ Drives Sales of NFL-Licensed Products

By Glenn S. Demby, Esq.

Americans still love watching football with friends but consumption patterns are changing. The TV is slowly but surely eclipsing the stadium as the viewing venue of choice. And as it does, tailgating in the parking lot is giving way to “homegating” in the living room. Seven of 10 fans would rather get together with friends at home to watch the game than actually go to the game live, according to a recent survey commissioned by electronics retailer hhgregg.

Although the results may be a bit self-serving for a company that sells TVs, the popularity of “homegating” is hard to refute. What started as a Super Bowl Sunday phenomenon has become a season-long social pattern with 25% of survey respondents saying they homegate at least four times per season.

Although declining popularity of stadium viewing is worrying to the NFL in the long-term, it has yet to do any noticeable damage to attendance or stadium sales of NFL-licensed goods. Homegating has also become a great source of licensing revenue for both the League and its players. “Retailers are running with homegating to drive sales of gift, paper, furniture and home goods including everything from cups to lamps, inflatables to cheeseboards,” notes one NFL executive.

And it only promises to get better this season. “Super Bowl 50 is a super Super Bowl and we expect 2015-2016 to be a huge year for homegating-related sales,” the executive adds.

According to the TLL Survey, retail sales of NFL merchandise grew 5.2% in 2014 totaling just a shade over $3.2 billion.

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