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NFL to Debut New Entertainment Experience in NYC this Year

NFL_TimesSqaureThe NFL is building a permanent location for football fans, which will be opening this November in Times Square in New York City.

By incorporating hands-on immersive and interactive technology, yhis four-story attraction will take visitors on a journey from being a football fan, to becoming a player, and lead to being a Super Bowl Champion.

The NFL Experience will feature a moving seat 4D cinematic theater experience with weather and smell effects; immersive and interactive experiences which allow guests to see how they stack up against their favorite NFL stars; and photo opportunities with the official Super Bowl Trophy, Super Bowl rings, and other historic NFL memorabilia. Read the rest of this entry »

NFL Appoints IMG as Global Licensing Representative in Europe

August 12 nfl-logoThe National Football League (NFL) appointed IMG as its exclusive licensing representative across select international markets in Europe and Asia. The new multi-year deal will see the NFL further expand its brand presence internationally through new licensed consumer product initiatives for its international fans.

In recent years, the brand has held regular season games outside the U.S. The annual Super Bowl is now watched in more than 180 countries in nearly 25 languages. Read the rest of this entry »

Tommy Bahama Announces NFL Partnership for Sportswear Collection

Tommy Bahama - NFL Collection 2016Tommy Bahama and the National Football League have teamed up for the fourth year on an officially licensed collection of sportswear for this season and other initiatives to celebrate football this fall.

The Tommy Bahama NFL Collection of men’s and women’s sportswear features knits, performance fabrics, and prints styles detailed with NFL team logos, colors, and trims. Tommy Bahama NFL product will also be featured in the NFL’s “Not Just for Game Day” campaign, which encourages fans to wear their team apparel all week long. The collection is available at TommyBahama.com and at select retail locations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lulu DK Tattoos Launches NFL Jewelry Collection

Lulu DK Tattoos will kick off this year’s NFL season with an exclusive new collection featuring the official team logos and taglines of all 32 teams alongside whimsical jewelry detailing. Lulu DK x NFL will also incorporate shimmering gold and silver colors to enhance each teams’ respective colors.

The line is available now at luludk.com, nflshop.com, and select retailers nationwide.

Demi Lovato, Robert Griffin III, Brian Orakpo, Jerry Hughes Become Co-Owners of Texas Tea

texasteas

Demi Lovato, NFL stars Robert Griffin III, Brian Orakpo, and Jerry Hughes have become co-owners of the Texas-based D.B. Miller Inc., maker of Texas Tea, after each made an equity investment in the company. They will be involved in new product development and will support the company’s marketing efforts.

Each new co-owner has strong ties to Texas. Lovato is from Dallas, Griffin grew up in Copperas Cove and played quarterback for Baylor University, Orakpo was born in Houston and played for the University of Texas at Austin, and Hughes is from Houston and played for Texas Christian University.

D.B. Miller Inc. makes beverages homegrown from the best of Texas. All Natural Texas Tea blends organic white, green, and black tea from India and China with local ingredients such as Rio Red grapefruit, Texas wildflower raw honey, Brownsboro blueberries, Fredericksburg peaches, Poteet strawberries, Dove Creek mint, Pecos cantaloupes, and Imperial Pure Cane Sugar from Sugar Land, Texas. Other brands include Texas Squeeze juices and Texas Springs spring water. D.B. Miller Inc. will launch TEXAS mADE lemonades and limeades this year, as well as with Strother’s Brewed Cold Coffee Juice (cold-brewed coffee and juiced whole blueberries) with the creators of Toddy.

Sales have expanded throughout Texas with limited distribution in La., Ark., Okla., and Utah. Texas Tea is available at Whole Foods and Central Market, and at conventional grocers including HEB, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Kroger, and Market Street. Distribution will expand to all Sprouts Farmers Markets this month.

Entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency brokered the deal with D.B. Miller Inc. on behalf of Lovato.

NFLPI Unveils Rising 50 List

NFL Players Inc. (NFLPI), the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Association, has unveiled its first Rising 50 list of future top-selling stars.

The list serves to help sponsors, licensees, retailers, and future partners identify the NFL players set to become among the top sellers of licensed merchandise. The list covers the 2014 season, and is includes veteran players, emerging young stars, and college players entering the upcoming NFL Draft.

The NFLPI Rising 50 list considers 2014 game performance, Fantasy league popularity, early demand from current partners and licensees, and new faces in strong markets as factors to determine sales popularity. Players must not have appeared in previous NFLPI Top 50 Player Sales lists. The Rising 50 will be updated every year. Read the rest of this entry »

Tudor Games Signs NFL Licensing Agreement

TAugust 12 nfl-logoudor Games, makers of the original Electric Football game, have signed a licensing agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to market a new collection of NFL Electric Football games and NFL Team Action Figure sets.

Enhancements for this year include Invisibase Speed and Strength Cleats that propel the 1-inch action figure players across the field with accuracy. The SpeedTurf playing fields replaces the metal boards of the past with a fully detailed high-tech surface, powered by a handheld PlayAction remote control with variable speed.

The new products will be available in time for the NFL season and available at major retailers this holiday shopping season.

Sanrio Announces Plans for Hello Kitty’s Anniversary Celebration

In honor of Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, Sanrio Inc. will host a Hello Kitty fan convention—Hello Kitty Con 2014—in partnership with Target this fall. The convention will take place in Los Angeles and will feature vendors offering convention exclusives, products, and experiences to devout fans. The Japanese American National Museum in LA will host a Hello Kitty museum exhibition later this year, celebrating Hello Kitty’s brand legacy. Limited-edition commemorative products will also be released throughout the year, from companies such as Sephora, Mikimoto, Minnetonka, Chan Luu, the MLB, the NFL, Vans, New Era, Swarovski, McDonalds, and tokidoki. Hello Kitty will also continue to celebrate through the global Share a Hug with Hello Kitty campaign.

HelloKitty

COMMENTARY: Licensed NFL Games Bring All the Gridiron Action Home

It’s nearing September, which means the start of the 2013 to 2014 NFL season. Among the major American sports, professional football very easily rates near the top; however, unlike baseball or basketball, the NFL is only broadcast three days a week. This raises the question: What to do on those other days when the ol’ pigskin classic isn’t scheduled to be played? With a little help from the National Football League itself, we have your perfect solution: two officially-licensed NFL board games, plus one NFL video game super-sequel that just hit stores.

The first board game up is NFL Game Day from Fremont Die, in which two players (or two teams of players) take turns attempting to score points or stop the other team from scoring. The length of a football field is approximated on a neat magnetic board, and the game features magnetic pieces as well as cards for offensive, defensive, and special teams plays. For the most part, game play revolves around one side plunking down an offensive card, while the other side puts down a defensive card at the same time. Depending on which cards are played, the possibilities range from a five-yard gain to something much bigger, no gain to a huge loss in yardage, or even a turnover.

The game play mechanics are straightforward enough that even football novices can pick them up quickly; however, if you already fancy yourself an expert on football strategy, NFL Game Day has the bonus of effectively putting you in the head coach or offensive/defensive coordinator’s chair. At third-and-five, will you run for the first down, go for a short pass, or opt for the play-action? If you’re on the defensive side, do you play the pass or the run, or maybe even go for an all-out blitz?

A slightly different, but no less compelling football experience awaits NFL diehards and laypeople courtesy of NFL Rush Zone from Techno Source. Like NFL Game Day, it features a game board with customizable end zones for all 32 teams (and plastic uprights that don’t serve a practical purpose, but look pretty cool), but the game mechanics are dice-based rather than card-based. Each side rolls three dice representing a complete set of downs, but if the total of the defense’s dies is higher than the offense’s, it becomes fourth down and the latter must decide between punting, kicking a field goal, or going for the conversion.

If NFL Game Day represents the coach’s point-of-view, NFL Rush Zone is more like the spectator’s. The mechanics are such that despite being active participants, much of what happens on the field is left to chance; any series of downs can go really well or terribly wrong, and it’s difficult to strategize based on the random rolling of three die. Events will transpire as they will, and isn’t that exactly what watching an NFL game (or most any sporting event, for that matter) is like?

In the game I was playing, my hometown Miami Dolphins were marching on offense, but then my opponent (the Seattle Seahawks, for those who were wondering) got a defensive takeaway by rolling three of a kind. They subsequently scored a touchdown and won, at which point, like any true fan and viewer, I called for the Fins’ head coach to be fired and the team sold to parties based out of Los Angeles. Perhaps NFL Rush Zone represents football from the perspective of the team owner as well?

Actually, if any licensed NFL product lets users step into the luxury wing tips of their typical franchise owners, it’s most likely EA Sports‘ Madden NFL 25, the latest installment in the video game franchise. It arrived on August 27 for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and Playstation 3. New features include an “Owner Mode,” which lets gamers run the organization top to bottom, doing everything from selecting players to setting the prices of concessions, to upgrading the team’s stadium. It’s an intriguing form of escapism—running a corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, Madden NFL 25 retains the more traditional game play mode in which users control avatars of their favorite players, and this time around, the simulated action has an unprecedented level of smoothness and detail.

With these licensed games, NFL fans should be able to get their fix well beyond the coming football season.

For more commentary from Phil, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

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