The Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, are popular in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. So much so, the ballclub ranked in the top 25 of all Minor League Baseball teams in licensed merchandise sales. Considering there are over 160 teams, this is an amazing feat for the RoughRiders.
In the release from Minor League Baseball, the Top 25 list includes (alphabetically, with Major League affiliate): Charlotte Knights (White Sox), Columbia Fireflies (Mets), Columbus Clippers (Indians), Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros), Dayton Dragons (Reds), Durham Bulls (Rays), El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres), Fresno Grizzlies (Astros), Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers), Indianapolis Indians (Pirates), Iowa Cubs, Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres), Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies), Louisville Bats (Reds), Nashville Sounds (Athletics), Oklahoma City Dodgers, Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox), Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants), Sacramento River Cats (Giants), Salt Lake Bees (Angels), South Bend Cubs, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners), Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) and Trenton Thunder (Yankees).
The $68.3 million total marks a 5.06 percent increase over 2015’s total of $65.1 million, which had been the highest total recorded since Minor League Baseball’s licensing program began in 1992. The numbers are based on total licensed merchandise sales from January 1 – December 31, 2016, and include the 160 teams in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games.
The RoughRiders Executive Vice President and General Manager Jason Dambach made a statement on the team’s inclusion in this elite honor.
“Finishing in the top 25 in licensed merchandise for 2016 is a testament to the popularity of our logo and our brand identity. When we rebranded the RoughRiders more than two years ago and opened the Riders Outpost Team Store, our hope was to create a consistent branding message that resonates with fans of our club and across Minor League Baseball.” (source)
Twenty different major league organizations were represented by teams on the list, with only the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres placing two affiliates in the Top 25. The only teams to make the list using the nickname of their major league affiliate were the Iowa Cubs, Oklahoma City Dodgers, and the South Bend Cubs.
In addition to strong online sales, Minor League Baseball has also expanded its retail line into stores across the country, featuring items from MiLB licensees such as New Era Cap, 47 Brand, Bimm Ridder, Original Retro Brand, Outdoor Cap, Gear for Sports’ Under Armour line and Nike. This expansion is one of the cornerstones of the sales increase Minor League Baseball has seen.
Follow Blake Cole, The Inscriber’s exclusive reporter to the Frisco RoughRiders, on Twitter (@blakeacole) for more RoughRiders team news and updates, as well as news from across MiLB.
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*Featured image courtesy of RidersBaseball.com.