By Kendria Smith
The 2012 NFL draft is just a few weeks away, but the league has much more in store than the annual 3-day auction of top college players. For the first time in New York, the NFL will open the NFL Shop at Draft. This 10,000 square foot space will be a pop-up shop conveniently located a few blocks away from where the draft will be held at Radio City Music Hall on April 26-28. Starting April 2, the shop will provide spectators and football fanatics with a month of premium merchandise by New Era, Nike, Under Armour, Wilson and other top names in sports apparel.
To promote this new retail venture, New York Jets’ D’Brickashaw Ferguson and wife, Kirsten Ferguson hosted a press event at the NFL Shop on March 29th, attended by a number of marketing executives from the shop’s represented licensees. The event was the first of many marketing initiatives planned to gear the city up for a month of shopping and in-store promotional events. The overall plan is to create a shopping experience by providing consumers with high quality brands and exclusive access to limited-addition merchandise.
“We don’t want to just have a sporting goods store,” said Rhiannon Madden, NFL’s Director of Apparel and Consumer Products. “This is about having exclusive and unique products and showing the breadth and depth of our offering. So, if we feel there is a need, we will absolutely explore the opportunity to have a permanent fixture here in New York or elsewhere.”
Having all the latest and greatest NFL goods under one roof will make it easy for fans to score Nike’s new line of team jerseys and upgrade their headgear to the new NFL draft caps from New Era. Fans can also stock up on exclusive Super Bowl memorabilia and rep their teams in retro style tees by the vintage t-shirt company Junk Food. Even women’s apparel is highlighted in the mix by vendors like G-III and Cuce Apparel, which specialize in providing quality fabrics in a tailored fit.
As for now, the shop provides an opportunity for the NFL to test the market. But many hope that the residual excitement over the New York Giants’ Super Bowl win, anticipation of the upcoming draft, and hosting of Super Bowl 48 in the Meadowlands in 2014 will make the Big Apple the best place for the NFL’s fusion of pro football and premium athletic apparel.
Stop in and shop on April 2-30:
NFL Shop at Draft
1095 Avenue of the Americas, enter at 42nd Street
Doors open at 11 am
First 500 guesst in line will receive a commemorative 2012 NFL Draft coin.