"Minor League Baseball merchandise continues to remain extremely popular with our millions of fans, thanks to the efforts of our clubs and licensees," said MiLB director of licensing, Sandie Hebert. "The ability of the Baseball Internet Rights Company, since its inception in December 2008, to create, facilitate and manage the number of club stores that are on our website has also played an integral role in the continued success of our licensing program."
The Baseball Internet Rights Company (BIRCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of MiLB that was formed to manage the digital and interactive media rights for Minor League Baseball clubs and leagues across the United States and Canada, has helped launch 120 stores on www.MiLB.com online. Of the Top 25 clubs, 21 have stores using the BIRCO platform.
The MiLB national Licensing Program is comprised of the 160 clubs in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games. It also released its annual report of the top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales, ranked alphabetically. Rankings are based on wholesale sales reported from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011.
All but four clubs in the Top 25 were also on the 2010 list. The quartet of newcomers for 2011 includes the Greensboro Grasshoppers, Louisville Bats, Omaha Storm Chasers and Salt Lake Bees.
Here is the 2011 Top 25, listed alphabetically: Carolina Mudcats, Charleston RiverDogs, Corpus Christi Hooks, Durham Bulls, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Lake Elsinore Storm, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lansing Lugnuts, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Louisville Bats, Midland RockHounds, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Omaha Storm Chasers, Pawtucket Red Sox, Portland Sea Dogs, Reno Aces, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Rochester Red Wings, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Toledo Mud Hens, Trenton Thunder, and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.