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The Milwaukee Brewers success on the field has translated to off the field as well, and Major League Baseball has recognized that by naming the franchise the 2008 "Club Retailer of the Year."

Retail sales at Miller Park have nearly tripled since the end of the 2005 season, and the Brewers were the No. 1 in-stadium seller of name and number T-shirts in both 2007 and 2008 -- merchandise that is a large revenue generator for all 30 major league teams.

Sales of Brewers items on also have climbed nearly 30 percent through Nov. 6 of this year compared to the same period last year.

The "Club Retailer of the Year" award, which started in 2005, has been based on a combination of hard sales data, vendor/customer feedback and creative marketing and merchandising efforts.

The Brewers recently built a 3,200-square foot Team Store, located at Miller Park's Home Plate Gate, which increased their overall retail footprint by over 60 percent and featured an expanded assortment of women's and kids apparel.

In addition, timely marketing has particularly aided in driving Brewers retail sales. Upon clinching a Wild Card spot on the last day of the regular season, the Brewers launched a "24-Hour FanZone Frenzy" campaign supported by radio, print, out-of-home and online advertising, and which drove sales of thousands of postseason caps and T-shirts.

"The Brewers are very proud to be recognized by Major League Baseball with the presentation of this award," Rick Schlesinger, Brewers executive vice president of business operations, said in statement. "Through the efforts of our ownership, led by Debbie Attanasio, and our director of merchandise branding Jill Aronoff, we have placed a high priority on expanding our retail presence, offering a much broader product assortment in our stores and enhancing the Brewers brand."

Plans for 2009 include a complete remodeling of the 4,900-square foot Main Team Store, with a new headwear and jersey wall, a comprehensive section dedicated to women's apparel, and a special tailgate and Sausage Mascot display.

"By aggressively working with their concessionaire (Sportservice) to improve their retail operation at Miller Park, the Brewers have put themselves in an ideal situation to capitalize on their recent on-field success," Howard Smith, Major League Baseball, senior vice president of licensing, said in a statement. "Their commitment to retail has been exceptional and the feedback from our licensed vendors has been outstanding."

Previous recipients of the award have included the Seattle Mariners in 2005, New York Mets in 2006 and Philadelphia Phillies in 2007.

The Capital Times - 11/29/2008 11:34 am File photo The Milwaukee Brewers were named MLB's 2008 "Club Retailer of the Year."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 2, 2008

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