Mississippi State University-themed apparel stores in Starkville have seen booming sales since the Diamond Dawgs won the College World Series on June 30.
Because of the national championship win, many MSU fans are grabbing their merchandise to represent their winning team.
Maroon & Co. on Cottonmill Drive in Starkville has seen sales at an all-time high, store manager Alex Gomez said. While June saw a stark uptick in business, July has been even better, he said.
“Our sales typically don’t look like this,” Gomez said. “This is what we look for during the holidays, so we’re very glad to be able to have all of these sales.”
During an average month, Maroon & Co. makes about $55,000, Gomez said. But since June 30, the store has raked in more than $500,000 in apparel sales.
The Lodge on Highway 12 in Starkville has also seen an increase in revenue due to the high demand of MSU products. Owner John Hendricks said while many local and out-of-town customers have visited his store, much of the sales have come from online orders.
“We’ve never won a national championship, so there is so much excitement this summer surrounding these products,” Hendricks said.
From clothing to souvenir baseballs to Christmas ornaments, Hendricks said The Lodge sells multiple products that display “National Champions” across them. The product customers have been looking for and buying the most is the store’s replica pinstripe baseball jersey.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many stores and retailers struggled during 2020 and so far in 2021. Hendricks said this past month has made up for much of the lost revenue from over the last year.
“We skipped baseball last year,” Hendricks said. “We basically didn’t have football or basketball this year, so there’s a lot of excitement with people getting to get out and about, and I hope the sales continue.”
In order to sell MSU products, companies and retailers must first gain a license through the university and the licensing company it uses, Collegiate Licensing Company in Atlanta.
MSU Senior Legal Administrator and Director of Licensing Duski Hale said there has been an increase in retailers wanting to gain a license since the championship win, especially the separate national championship license the university has.
Aside from the typical cowbells and apparel, Hale said she has seen customers wanting to sell many unique national championship baseball-specific products, including a coozie that also turns into a baseball glove.
“I had someone today who wanted to take a baseball field base and frame it and have some signatures and things on it, so there have been a handful of new random products that have popped up over the past few weeks,” Hale said.
Hale said no licensing policies have changed since the championship. The MSU Trademark and Licensing Office prepared for an influx of licensing requests since before the university’s regional games. Hale said initial preparation helped retailers and the MSU athletic department develop the appropriate products in a timely manner.
“Once we get beyond regular season play, the NCAA has a right to a lot of the property, but we’ve done postseason enough times that we have some pretty good policies in place to help us,” Hale said.
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