By all accounts, the 2016 Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, held this past Jan. 24-26 in Las Vegas, was a success. The SportsFan Retailer team walked the aisles of the show and noticed a refreshing theme prevalent among the many exhibitors: Innovation is alive and well in this industry, with products that will continue to stoke fans’ passions for their favorite teams in 2016.
Following is a snapshot of 10 interesting products we saw at the event.
1. Pocket Passer: Michael Messimer, a mechanical engineer and sports fan based in Colorado, created this tailgate game resembling and combining the features of cornhole and beer pong. The game features a board with six holes and a net for catching footballs instead of beanbags. Sets can be ordered online at pocket-passer.com.
2. LightHeaded Illuminated Fan Helmets: “Sports. Illuminated.” That’s the tagline of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based LightHeaded LLC, which offers full-size replica collegiate helmets featuring logos illuminated with the company’s LED technology. The helmets are ideal for a number of end uses, from a focal point in a man cave to office décor. Pre-orders are being taken now, and the company’s initial collection, which will be available in Aug. 1, could include up to 15 colleges (with more to come). Get more information at lightheadedhelmets.com.
3. Holstar Beer Holsters: These rugged, stylish leather holsters securely hold 12-ounce cans or bottles. The company features holsters with licenses from Baylor University, SMU and Colorado State University, but have several non-licensed options available as well at theholstar.com.
4. Boelter Licensed Products: Boelter Brands showcased a large assortment of licensed drinkware, cookware and accessories — chalkboard pint glasses and growlers, ceramic steins and can fridges. Notably, the company also showcased licensed Star Wars-themed team drinkware and a line of Max Mugs. The latter, a mug with a hoop that can be used to toss marshmallows into hot cocoa or cereal into milk, etc., was created by a child with dyslexia, and Boelter donates 5% of profits from the mug sales to dyslexia-related charities and nonprofits. Find out more information at boelterbrands.com.
5. BeverageBall: On the surface, this is a run-of the mill foam football, but upon closer inspection, the BeverageBall can contain any 12-ounce can underneath its squishy exterior. The BeverageBall offers a safe and fun way to toss drinks from coolers at a tailgate. More information can be found at thebeverageball.com.
6. Fantasy Scoreboards: Designed and officially licensed primarily for the NHL, this company provides up to the minute score, time, period, penalties and shot counts on a Wi-Fi-linked scoreboard. Fantasy Scoreboards currently is working with other leagues to obtain licenses, but scoreboards for all 30 NHL teams are available at fantasyscoreboards.com.
7. Fanpans: Silicone cake and muffin pans, and ice trays in the shape of various team logos, allow users to bake or freeze food and liquids in custom pans in the shape of logos for variety of colleges and universities. See the collection at fanpans.com.
8. ThermoServ Tumblers: It’s tough to find anything truly new, exciting or innovative in the drinkware sector. ThermoServ introduced to the market a newly patented, virtually unbreakable double-walled tumbler for ultimate durability. Made with Tritan material, they carry multiple licenses, including collegiate, and come in multiple quantities. The company also has an assortment of melamine tablewear for the licensed sporting goods market. See more at thermoserv.com.
9. Victory Tailgate Tumble Towers: A company known for its custom and licensed cornhole tailgate boards, Victory Tailgate introduced Tumble Towers, the largest of which can provide up to 18 vertical rows of fun. The blocks are made of solid pine engraved with collegiate team logos. Each block measures 1.5” x 3.5” x 10”. See more at victorytailgate.com.
10. FI Collection Licensed Soccer Headwear Collection: From the football (soccer) innovation arm of Fan Ink Ltd. comes a premium licensed soccer lifestyle collection of headwear and accessories. Building on the 2015 trend of increased retail sales of premium products, the headwear collection has been launched across many major markets globally, including North and South America, Europe and Asia. From fashion to street-inspired looks, the collection offers a variety of styles showcasing passion for the game. Learn more at ficollection.com.