Merchandising and Sport Management: Working Together
While merchandising may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of sport management, it’s actually a very important part of the job. In fact, merchandising is a multibillion-dollar industry in the sports world and brings in plenty of money for teams through the sale of hats, shirts, jerseys, and more. Here are some merchandising tasks you may be asked to handle.
Develop Unique Merchandise
Image via Flickr by jheffryswid™ d e s i g n
Professional sports teams are always looking for unique products that fans will want to buy. This includes new apparel, household products, and giftware that’s emblazoned with the team’s logo. Once the team agrees that the products meet their requirements, you’ll create a sales plan, advertising campaign, and marketing plan to promote the new products. Finally, you’ll also work with retail and online stores and warehouses to fulfill orders.
Market and Promote the Team
College, semi-professional, and professional teams all need marketing programs to promote the franchise and their merchandise. In this aspect of sport management and merchandising, you’re responsible for understanding which items resonate with fans and what they would be interested in purchasing. When you have a good idea of the products that should be produced, you’ll work with manufacturers and branding companies to create quality goods for the team. Additionally, you’ll have to protect the team’s reputation by watching out for counterfeit products and contacting lawyers if necessary.
Visually Merchandise the Product
Once you have a good idea of what fans want to buy and it’s been produced, you also need to make sure it’s displayed in stores properly so that it’s visually appealing and makes fans want to buy it. In this case, you’ll want to work with stores around your city to make sure they display merchandise from your team prominently. You’ll also have to work closely with store managers in regards to advertisements, displays, and special events.
Deal With Sales and Purchasing
Oftentimes, a sports manager will have to play the role of both sales representative and purchaser when merchandising their product. As a sales rep, you must build a relationship with retailers to get the product out of the warehouse and on the shelves. As a purchaser, you will take sales calls from sports-related retailers interested in stocking the product. In either case, you need to negotiate the best deal to get your product in stores.
Keep Track of How Well the Product Sells
Finally, you’ll have to keep track of how well the product is selling so you can continue to produce items that fans want to buy. Those who earn a degree in sports management learn about this aspect of sports marketing and finances. Once the product is in the stores, you have to monitor the sales trends. At this point, it’s also important to work closely with stores to set prices and make sure all information about the product is clearly communicated to customers using brochures, websites, catalogs, and other materials.
While merchandising isn’t an obvious part of a sport manager job, it’s actually a very important role. A sport manager has to focus on these areas of merchandising to make sure his or her client or team is well-represented in the market.