ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Minor League Baseball today announced its list of Top 25 teams in licensed merchandise sales for 2016, which again included the Sacramento River Cats. The combined totals of all 160 teams set a Minor League Baseball record with more than $68.3 million in retail sales
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 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).
"We're proud to again be a part of the Top 25 MiLB teams in licensed merchandise sales," said River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson. "The achievement speaks directly to support and the passion of our fans and our community, without whom the Sacramento River Cats wouldn't be the team and organization that we are."
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.
"Minor League Baseball team names and logos continue to be some of the most creative and fun in all of professional sports and are valuable marketing tools for their clubs," said Sandie Hebert, Minor League Baseball's Director of Licensing. "Each year a few teams choose to create new identities and it's always interesting to see the fan reaction and how that translates into merchandise sales."
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.
"In addition to buying merchandise at the ballpark or online, you can now find Minor League Baseball products in many popular retail locations around the country," added Hebert. "The ever-increasing popularity of Minor League Baseball has helped create another year of record-breaking sales and further solidifies the Minor League Baseball brand as a fan favorite."
About the Sacramento River Cats
The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A affiliate of the three-time World Champion San Francisco Giants. The team plays at Raley Field in West Sacramento, consistently voted one of the top ballparks in America. River Cats Season Tickets, Mini-Plans, and Flex Plans can be purchased for the 2017 season by calling the River Cats Ticket Hotline at (916) 371-HITS (4487). For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.
Follow the Sacramento River Cats on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the
United States, Canada, and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball® clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2016, Minor League Baseball attracted 41.3 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information, visit www.MiLB.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.