Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Merchandise sales are a staple for minor league baseball teams like the Chattanooga Lookouts, but that wasn’t always the case.
Now that’s big business for Lookouts, which sell just about anything.
Minor league baseball souvenir shops haven’t always looked like this.
Ask Lookouts Managing Director Rich Mozingo.
Mozingo said, “My first job in minor league baseball was in Florida for the Rangers in Port Charlotte, Florida. We literally had no goods. We didn’t have a hat to sell. A t-shirt we could sell. Anything.”
Oh, how times have changed.
Mozingo said, “Before Rocket City played a single baseball game, they sold over $2 million worth of merchandise. The Lookouts were really cutting edge. We were one of the first teams to have a logo that wasn’t related to a major league affiliate, so when the eye logo came out in 1991, it was really just a shake-up for people, so we were doing good business in that.
The Lookouts merchandise sales business is the responsibility of Jennifer Crum.
Says Crum: “You can’t go wrong with hats. Jerseys have been super popular this year. We sold out of our men’s shirts in April, and you can’t go wrong with the classic t-shirt. Everyone loves our logo and something with our simple eyes logo on it, so that was also very popular.
And then there are those items that kind of become popular.
Says Crum: “Crop tops are a big sell in places, and I saw this being offered in a catalog, and I said you must be crazy. We’re going to sell a crop top. Now we’re selling a crop top. So that’s been awesome. We just got this about a week ago and almost sold out about 50% of what we have. That’s crazy. Like the postcards, I was very hesitant to wear them because which I just didn’t know how well they would do. Every time we got postcards, they sold out.”
Now, sales of Lookouts merchandise are global.
Said Crum: “I know that we have already shipped to China. We have shipped to Japan several times. We’ve also shipped to a few places in Europe, so we have fans all over the world.