First Word - August 2003

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It was bound to happen. The gap between sports and women's fashion is closing rapidly. Maybe the result of the importance of streetwear fashion, the formation and dominance of women's sport leagues, or the fashion and sports industries' realization that "sports" can also be "feminine." Or a combination of all three. Today, female fans represent upward of 40 to 50 percent attendance at many male-dominated sport functions-from the MLB to NASCAR and the NHL. What's more, women's leagues are growing in status and recognition: Consider the success of golf pro Annika Sorenstam and soccer champ Mia Hamm. They and other women such as tennis stars and sisters Serena and Venus Williams now have become household names. With those stats and facts in hand, many leagues have or are beginning to react with the launch of more feminine silhouettes, styles, and colors to cater to the tastes of an avid woman fan. This month's cover story, written by Managing Editor Lorri Freifeld, speaks to each league's focus on apparel created with women in mind, and how it is approaching and working with both licensees and retailers to drive women's sports apparel home. Turn to p. 31 for this extensive look.

Providing fast facts, overall industry stats, and quick tidbits of information is the reason behind the variety of charts found on our Insider pages, and the "Fast Fact" box on our Last Word page. Consumer insight can aid your company in creating future marketing, merchandising, and sales initiatives. Because we know that, we have enlisted Glendale, CA-based On Target Research to provide our "Fast Fact" information. On Target Research Provides extensive survey and market research services, including those for branding, competition research, promotional analysis, potential current customer needs and wants research, as well as "no sale" research and analysis on why a prospect pitched didn't close. To learn more about its research offerings and case studies, visit www.OnTargetResearch.com.

Now, a more personal note. Many of you may have already learned that our associate editor, Cavelle Johnston, will be pursuing a degree in law at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, VA. This is, of course, good news and bad news. Recognizing her creative energy and spirit, Cavelle was promoted to associate editor just this year, after working on License! for three years. During that time, she cultivated many relationships with key executives and public relations professionals in the home d袯r, character, entertainment, and toy industries, as well as wrote key feature articles. Needless to say, Cavelle's humor, passion, energy, and Jamaican accent will be sorely missed in our office. At the same time, we are incredibly proud of her accomplishments and assured that her journalistic abilities will make for brilliant briefs. While irreplaceable, a search for an associate editor is already under way; we'll keep you posted.

It's August, and I'm certain we'll be seeing many of you at the upcoming MAGIC Marketplace, August 25 to 28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Need a meeting place or want to say "hello," stop by LicensingCentral located near South Hall.

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