The 2015 Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show Closes with Record Attendance

Growth on both the exhibitor and attendee side, along with added retailer education makes this year’s show the largest in history


Las Vegas, NV – January 16, 2015 –The 2015 Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, the premier event for brand owners, licensors, licensees and retailers in the world of sports merchandise and licensed products, exceeded expectations on attendance growth and exhibiting brands, as reported by show organizers.

“The show continues to grow in a measured and positive way. We are really pleased with the overall success of this year’s event,” said Liz Crawford, Vice President and Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show Group Show Director. “Year after year, we attract and support the needs of the core retailers, licensors and licensees in the world of sports licensed products. Their participation proves to be the reason that this show continues to show steady growth. The addition of strong retailer education like the Independent Retailer Conference, merchandising sessions, and NFLPA sessions allows us to deliver robust content which provides value to our exhibitors and attendees.”

The event, held annually in Las Vegas, is the only show of its kind dedicated to the sports licensed market. Over 370 exhibitors, 134 of those were new to the show in 2015. These exhibiting brands featured professional and collegiate sports licensed products including apparel, footwear, accessories, sporting goods products, retail solutions and sports merchandise. A strong showing of non-licensed merchandise was also evident.

Key buyers from major retail, sporting goods, gift and specialty stores came to locate product for their shops, including retail Internet giant Fanatics. Buyers from Academy Sports & Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Wal-Mart, Target, Sports Authority,, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Kohl’s were also in attendance.

Organizations like the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, NFL Players Inc., The Collegiate Licensing Company, CLPA/Licensing Resource Group, One Entertainment, and more, were on hand to assist manufacturers and retailers navigate the licensing process. In addition, European companies like Chelsea, Sports Design Sweden, and Macknificent from Denmark were on hand.

New additions to the show in 2015 including the Independent Retailer Conference, dedicated entirely to the unique lifestyle and responsibilities of small business owners, provided education-rich, action-packed events that offered attending retailers the chance to engage, learn and connect with retail experts, industry leaders, service providers and like-minded entrepreneurs. Attendees of the IRC at the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show participated in interactive sessions that helped them gain knowledge, providing them tools and learnings to take back to their stores.

A packed schedule of education, networking and featured events provided attendees and exhibitors opportunities to grow their business and celebrate their successes. The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show Awards recognized the highest achievements in the Sports Licensing industry over the past year. A new merchandising seminar gave retailers guidance on how to best merchandise their stores for maximum sell through. Evening happy hours allowed attendees to relax and get to know one another, and the annual License to Buy program was the largest in history with 57 brands providing purchasing incentives to retail buyers.

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 was no better time for the industry to convene to conduct its annual business. And this year, the floor was a buzz with NBA Hall of Famers, Fantasy Football Insiders, NFL Players, past and present, NFL Cheerleaders and Shark Tank Stars. These athletes and celebrities brought their industry knowledge, and star-power to the show floor.

Exhibitors and Buyers found that this year’s show helped them meet their strategic and business goals: “I would strongly recommend the License to buy program,” said Alyssa Wappes, Owner of Pro Image. It is such a great value and helps us process many orders all at once. It makes our business and the show a success.”

“We have been exhibiting at this show for 5 years. This year, there are more brands than we have seen before, and whole sellers are ready to place orders.” Commented Brian Jacobsen, B and J Company.

Paul Dixon, Tokens & Icons said, “We have been exhibiting at this show since 2006 and we haven’t had a bad show yet. We are already planning and looking forward to next year.”

“This show can be a big writing show for the mom and pop retailers. They know about the License to Buy program and they use it,” said Michael Sockel, Team Sports America/Evergreen Enterprises. ‘For the cost to participate, we recognize a significant change in volume or orders written and we are constantly asked by the mom and pops if we are participating. Once the retail buyers understand the program, it’s a no brainer.”

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show will be back in Las Vegas next year, January 24-26, 2016. Registration will open in mid-August.



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 80 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



Kate Blom-Lowery
Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show
Director of PR
(949) 226-5779


Nikki Puckett
Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show
Marketing Manager
(949) 226-5750