Minor League Baseball Reveals Its Top 25 Merchandising Clubs From 2016

Minor League Baseball on Monday released its annual list of the top 25 biggest moneymakers in terms of licensed merchandise sales. A quick glance at the list reveals a few trends. Fifteen of the 25 teams are from Triple-A, and 18 of the top 25 this year were also on the list for 2015. The seven teams new to this year’s list were the Columbia Fireflies, Corpus Christi Hooks, Fresno Grizzlies, Iowa Cubs, Omaha Storm Chasers, Portland Sea Dogs and Richmond Flying Squirrels.

For the Sea Dogs, the absence from last year’s list was based in part due to a technicality.

“To be honest with you, and it’s always tough to tell from licensing and all these things, I think there was a large vendor that didn’t report in 2015,” Sea Dogs senior VP John Kameisha said. “So technically, if we go back we might be on (the list). We missed a year and now we’re back. Whether it’s a licensing mistake or not, that’s the case.”

Kameisha also noted that last season was less rainy in Maine—the team has already had six postponements—which gave fans more opportunities to buy merchandise at the park.

Twenty of the 30 major league clubs placed at least one affiliate on the list, and the  Cubs, Reds, Astros, Giants and Padres each had two affiliates made the top 25. Of the 25, just two clubs (Iowa and South Bend) share their nickname with their parent club. One club, Indianapolis, share its nickname with a different major league club.

"Minor League Baseball team names and logos continue to be some of the most creative and fun in all of professional sports and are valuable marketing tools for their clubs," said Sandie Hebert, Minor League Baseball's director of licensing. "Each year a few teams choose to create new identities and it's always interesting to see the fan reaction and how that translates into merchandise sales."

The full list is as follows:

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
Columbus Clippers (Indians)
Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
Dayton Dragons (Reds)
Durham Bulls (Rays)
El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
Fresno Grizzlies (Astros)
Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers)
Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
Iowa Cubs
Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
Louisville Bats (Reds)
Nashville Sounds (Athletics)
Oklahoma City Dodgers
Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals)
Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
South Bend Cubs
Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

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