Disney and Major League Baseball are combining for a cross-licensing deal that will mix the marks of two of the biggest names in sports and entertainment merchandising.
The retail licensing program is one MLB has pursued for a decade and expands the business relationship between the two companies, giving MLB ties to Disney’s youth marketing empire, while global merchandise king Disney gets distribution within MLB’s established channels for licensed sports products.
The licensing program will include caps, apparel, novelties and possibly children’s footwear. While some limited product combining Mickey Mouse and other classic Disney cartoon characters with MLB logos could be at retail as soon as next month, the program will officially launch at retail in and around the July 13 All-Star Game being held in Disney’s hometown of Anaheim.
Another part of the agreement will see Mickey Mouse/MLB statues placed throughout Anaheim during All-Star Week, similar to the Gateway Arch models scattered around St. Louis last July and the Statue of Liberty/MLB-logoed replicas around New York City during the 2008 All-Star Game. About 67,000 10-inch-tall replicas of those MLB Statues of Liberty were sold. Given the power of Mickey Mouse and other venerable Disney cartoon characters at retail, MLB hopes that 100,000 of those replica statues will be purchased this year.
Because of Disney’s enormous power at retail globally, MLB has been seeking an alliance for about a decade. “Kids are always a major focus as baseball, or any sports property, looks to bring more fans under its umbrella and into its park,“ said one senior licensing executive with knowledge of the deal. “That’s why this works so well for them.”
PS – The Original article had Mickey Mouse with a NY Yankee’s cap on but I refuse to post the Yanks on this website.. Go SOX!
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