The Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, have been named as one of the Top 25 Minor League Baseball teams in licensed merchandise sales, the organization announced on Monday. The announcement marks just the third time the franchise has cracked the list, joining the 1998 and 2001 seasons.
2013 was the first season of the rebranding of the Reading Fightin Phils franchise. The new branding was highlighted by the addition of the feisty ostrich logo, a first in professional sports, as well as the unique symbols of the modern "F-fist" logo and historic feathered "R" logo.
"Today's announcement by the MiLB office is a testament to how fans in Baseballtown, and around the United States, have embraced our Fightin Phils brand," said Fightin Phils General Manager Scott Hunsicker. "There are little leaguers around the country wearing our brand for the first time ever. Kids have embraced the fun Fightins ostrich mark, teenagers and younger adults have been drawn to the tough Fightins F-Fist logo, and older fans appreciate the tribute to the 1950 Phillies Whiz-Kids with our Fightin Phils pinstriped jersey. We are a nostalgic franchise with the longest affiliation in all of Minor League Baseball. We play at America's Classic Ballpark and the franchise is widely recognized as being an industry leader in FUN. Our brand represents all of those attributes, and that certainly presents a challenge with logos and uniforms. We are so pleased that our fans have embraced the rebranding."
Merchandise featuring the Fightins new look is available all year long in the Mitchell & Ness Fightins Team Store at America's Classic Ballpark and online at Fightins.com.
Each year, Minor League Baseball records the sales of licensed merchandise from January 1 through December 31. At the conclusion of the calendar year, they release the 25 best-selling clubs in alphabetical order. In 2013, MiLB saw revenue top over $55.4 million in retail sales. The total is the second highest figure for the licensing program since its inception in 1992 and a 2.6% rise from the previous year.
The following clubs made the list (in alphabetical order): the Albuquerque Isotopes, Carolina Mudcats, Columbus Clippers, Corpus Christi Hooks, Durham Bulls, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Hillsboro Hops, Indianapolis Indians, Lake Elsinore Storm, Lakewood BlueClaws, Lansing Lugnuts, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Midland RockHounds, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Portland Sea Dogs, Reading Fightin Phils, Reno Aces, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Toledo Mud Hens, Trenton Thunder and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Season tickets, mini-plans, group tickets, and single game tickets for the 2014 season at FirstEnergy Stadium are available by visiting Fightins.com, calling the Fightin Phils Ticket Office at 610-370-BALL, or by visiting the Fightin Phils Ticket Office in person at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.