Most professional sports franchises see their retail programs as novelties, and place them on a level other than the mainstay hot dog and beer sales.
A few, though, see the revenue and brand-building opportunities in thousands of fans wearing, waving or wanting their logo merchandise - especially in the televised images accompanying the game.
When computer whiz Paul Allen bought the Seattle Seahawks football team and imploded the ailing Kingdome in favor of a new, modern stadium, he wanted to build a large central retail store within to capitalize on both game-day traffic and downtown foot traffic.
Design firm 5ifth Floor (Seattle) was retained to design a 2900-square-foot store with access from both the stadium's interior concourse and the street adjacent to the stadium. The Seahawks wanted the store to be an icon establishing "the home of the Seahawks" - powerful, modern and sophisticated through its use of graphics, audio/visual equipment and sleek, clean fixtures.
The store is a wide and shallow 100-by-29 feet, and about 90 percent of the walls are floor-to-ceiling windows. So the store had to be able to draw and accommodate a large number of customers and move them quickly and smoothly. Bold, clear signage and displays (by product type) help customers find quickly what they want and make their way to one of eight points of sale. And those sales are 115 percent above projections.
Client Team: Seattle Seahawks - Tom Chiado, Sue Harris, Lance Lopes
Design Team: 5ifth Floor, Seattle - Eduardo Alfonso, Bryan Berg, Rebecca Jack, Alexandra Ramsden, Scott Truitt
Architect: DKA Architects, Seattle - Donna Brown
General Contractor: Turner Construction, Seattle
Outside Design Consultant: Candela Architectural Lighting Design, Seattle
Suppliers: Robelan, New York (fixturing); Maverick Specialty Contracting, Seattle (flooring); Super Graphics, Seattle (signage and graphics); Robelan, New York (mannequins and forms)
Photo Courtesy of Steve Keating, Seattle