Six New York Mets players, along with the MLBPA, Majestic Athletic and Twins Enterprises held a design session yesterday in what would become the first line of player-designed line of merchandise with MLB player input. The products will be sold in the new MLBPA created Players Clubhouse store at Citi Field (see images and more on the unique store created by the MLBPA and Mets). As reported by Eric Fisher of the SportsBusiness Daily/Journal:
Pitchers J.J. Putz, John Maine and Bobby Parnell, LF Daniel Murphy, RF Gary Sheffield and C Omir Santos -- and have the new product on the shelves around the All-Star Break in July. Products being designed include T-shirts, jerseys and hats that will incorporate the players’ choices for colors, styles, as well as their names, and in some cases, their likenesses and signatures. Twins Enterprises VP/Sales Eddie Miller said, "This is the first time we’ve done anything like this. But nobody’s closer to the game than these guys, and we think they can bring in some new energy and push us toward some different looks. The more we get off the wall and get away from standard name-and-number type of stuff, the more we create a different market."
According to Fisher, the PA is considering the creation of a “jock tag” that would let consumers know that the products were designed with player input.
“This was nothing like I expected, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes out of this,” Putz said. "I started with a basic orange-and-blue camoflage type of thing, but as we kept talking, I ultimately got to a military camo shirt, but with an Affliction-style print, and red, white and blue lettering. But it was fun to bounce ideas around like that and see where it went.”
The question is, how will it look? While the likes of LeBron James and others have embraced fashion, for the most part, ballplayers don’t exactly personify style. Let’s see if Majestic Athletic and Twins Enterprises can work on the process and come up with something (bad baseball pun) striking.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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