NBA Hall of Famers, Fantasy Football Insiders, NFL Players and Shark Tank Stars, Bring Star-power to the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show

Jan 8, 2015

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – January 8, 2015 – The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, the premier event for brand owners, licensors, licensees and retailers interested in sports licensed products, announced today that an elite group of professional athletes, hall of famers, and industry celebrities will be in attendance at the upcoming show, January 14-16, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

With professional basketball in full swing, and college teams marching to the Final Four, the NFL playoffs happening with the Super Bowl in sight, there is no better time for the industry to convene to conduct its annual business. Held annually, the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show is home to over 350 exhibitors and thousands of retailers, and is the only show of its kind to target the sports, licensing and tailgating markets. Exhibiting companies hold the licenses for professional and collegiate sports teams and represent all product categories.

Joining this year’s event:

Jim Kelly, Pro-Football Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly has always been known for his toughness. He rose to fame as the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, leading them to four straight AFC Championships, an accomplishment still unmatched in NFL history. Kelly retired from the NFL in 1997, and was inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame in 2002, his first year of eligibility. In his post-football career, Jim has dedicated himself to his charity work, both through Kelly for Kids and Hunter’s Hope Foundation, which he and his wife founded in the name of their son, Hunter, who lost his life to Krabbe Leukodystrophy in 2005. Kelly has also had his toughness tested by two bouts with cancer in 2013 and 2014. Currently in complete remission, Kelly continues to inspire his fans everywhere to be Kelly Tough. He will be in the Fabrique Innovations Booth 4017 on Thursday, January 15, 10: a.m. -12:00 p.m. to sign autographs.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald, retired American professional basketball player. He spent 14 years playing in the NBA, most notably with the Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City, Omaha Kings and Boston Celtics. He is the only player to lead the league in scoring and assists in the same season. Archibald was selected in the second round of the 1970 NBA Draft (19th pick) by the Cincinnati Royals. He was also drafted by the Texas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association. Archibald played for the Cincinnati Royals / Kansas City Kings from 1970–1976, the New York Nets from 1976–1977, the Boston Celtics from 1978–1983, and the Milwaukee Bucks from 1983–1984. He was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team and was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. Archibald will appear each day in the Inkredible, Inc. booth 8073, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Israel Idonije, 11-year veteran in the NFL – 10 years with the Chicago Bears, one year with the Detroit Lions, and now a free agent.  Idonije is the founder of the Israel Idonije Foundation as well as an entrepreneur. In 2010, he started Blessed Communion, and in 2007 he began Athlitacomics, exhibiting at this year’s show. Idonije has been a fan of comics since he was a child.  He started Athlitacomics during the Chicago Bears training camp when he had an idea for a superhero story he felt would appeal to both die-hard sports fans and comic book enthusiasts.  The story of “The Protectors” was conceived at that time and eventually led to the concept of Athlitacomics’ newest property “Sports Heroes,” which showcase the extraordinary capabilities of top athletes in a unique and impressive way. Idonije will be available for autographs and pictures throughout the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show.  Anyone is welcome to stop by the booth (6114) to meet him.

The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, the cheerleading squad representing the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, will be joining the staff of Perfect Timing Inc.- Turner Licensing, the official calendar licensee for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. Members of the squad will be in their booth 3088, Wednesday, January 14 from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM to sign autographs and meet buyers.

Matthew Berry, said to be the face of Fantasy Football, will also be in attendance. ESPN’s Senior Fantasy Analyst, Berry, is one of the most popular writers on ESPN. The daily, award winning “Fantasy Focus” podcast he stars on had over 15 million downloads during the 2013 football season and is regularly in the top ten on iTunes. A Sports Emmy Award winner for his work on ESPN2’s live Sunday morning show, Fantasy Football Now, he appears regularly on ESPN television and radio shows including Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown, SportsCenter, NFL, Live, Olbermann, Mike and Mike in the Morning and more. Berry will be signing autographs in the SportsFan Retailer booth 8111 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 15th.

NFL Players Inc, booth 3128, will be bringing several former NFL players to help staff their booth and participate in the Friday morning session, January 16, 2015: Tap into the Power of NFL Players scheduled from 8:30 am – 9:30 am in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Room S223. Players will also be enjoying the sports lounge, a little friendly competition over cornhole, foosball, and shuffle board. Everyone is welcome to join the fun.

Gameday Couture, an exhibitor with celebrity ties will be on the show floor in booth 5129. The husband and wife owners of Gameday Couture appeared on the reality show “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs pitch their business plans to a panel of investors. The couple’s high-fashion game-day clothing line had a natural pairing with panelist and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Cuban is now an investor in Gameday Couture. The firm is licensed with more than 30 universities, including Oklahoma State University (where owners went to school and got their first license), the University of Oklahoma, University of Tulsa and University of Arkansas.

“It is exciting to see so many former players and celebrities join the show. It adds to the cool vibe that the show already enjoys. Sports always provide a great opportunity to celebrate and come together with friends and colleagues,” said Liz Crawford, Vice President and Group Show Director for the Licensing Group. “These former athletes and industry notables have spent their lives in the industry, it seems natural that they would have business success in the Sports Licensing industry.”


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About Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show
Held annually in Las Vegas, the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show is the premier event for brand owners, licensors, licensees and retailers interested in sports licensed products. Home to over 350 exhibits and thousands of retailers, this is the only show of its kind to target the sports and tailgating market. Exhibiting companies hold the licenses for professional, collegiate and all other sports teams and represent all product categories. Visit for more information.


About Emerald Expositions
Emerald Expositions is a leading operator of large business-to-business tradeshows in the United States, producing over 65 tradeshows and conference events per year connecting over 335,000 buyers and sellers across nine diversified end-markets, including general merchandise, sports, hospitality and retail design, jewelry, photography, decorated apparel, building, healthcare and military. Emerald Expositions is headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, California. The company’s shows are typically the most prominent and important for exhibitors and attendees within their various industries. To learn more about Emerald Expositions, please visit


Nikki Puckett

Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show
Marketing Manager


Kate Blom-Lowery
Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show
Director of PR