ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - For the eighth time since 2005, the Corpus Christi Hooks are among the national leaders in Minor League Baseball licensed merchandising sales.
In fact, the Hooks have been ranked among the Top 25 each year since the inaugural season of 2005.
Monday, MiLB announced that its national licensing program, consisting of 160 clubs in the domestic-based leagues that charge admission to their games, generated an estimated $54 million in sales of licensed merchandise during 2012. That represents a 3.3 percent increase over 2011 and ranks as the third-largest yearly total since the program's inception in 1991.
Sales of MiLB merchandise last year trail only 1994 ($60 million), when basketball hall of famer Michael Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons, and 2008 ($54.7 million).
"Our clubs and licensees should be commended for continuing to produce logos and merchandise that appeal to our more than 41.2 million fans annually, as well as non-baseball fans," said MiLB Director of Licensing Sandie Hebert. "Having more than 120 club stores on the MiLB.com website has also played a major role in growing the brands of our clubs, as well as the Minor League Baseball brand."
The top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales, ranked alphabetically, were also released. Rankings are based on wholesale sales reported from January 1 to December 31, 2012. Of the Top 25 clubs, 22 have stores on MiLB.com.
The 2012 Top 25 is comprised of 20 clubs that were also part of the 2011 list. The five new clubs are the Albuquerque Isotopes, Columbus Clippers, Indianapolis Indians, Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Savannah Sand Gnats.
Here is the 2012 Top 25, listed alphabetically: Albuquerque Isotopes, Carolina Mudcats; Columbus Clippers; Corpus Christi Hooks; Durham Bulls; Fort Wayne TinCaps; Greensboro Grasshoppers; Indianapolis Indians; Lake Elsinore Storm; Lakewood BlueClaws; Lehigh Valley IronPigs; Midland RockHounds; Pawtucket Red Sox; Pensacola Blue Wahoos; Portland Sea Dogs; Reno Aces; Richmond Flying Squirrels; Rochester Red Wings; Round Rock Express; Sacramento River Cats; Salt Lake Bees; Savannah Sand Gnats; Toledo Mud Hens; Trenton Thunder; and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.