The 2014 Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show, which took place from Jan. 16-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center,  exceeded expectations on attendance growth say show organizers.

“We are really pleased with the overall success of this year’s show,” said Liz Crawford, show director for the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show. “Our focus on the core business of gathering the top retailers, licensors and licensees in the world of sports licensed products is the reason that this show continues to show steady growth year over year. The addition of a well executed attendee outreach program with quality seminars and content shows our commitment to delivering value to our exhibitors and attendees.”

The event, held annually in Las Vegas, is the only show of its kind dedicated to the sports licensed market. Over 340 exhibitors featured professional and collegiate sports licensed products including apparel, footwear, accessories, sporting goods products, retail solutions and sports merchandise. Organizations like the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, NFL Players Inc., FIFA, The Collegiate Licensing Company, CLPA/Licensing Resource Group and more, were on hand to assist manufacturers and retailers navigate the licensing process.

Buyers from around the world came to locate product for their shops, including retail Internet giant Fanatics. Fanatics General Merchandise Manager John Sabo indicated, in a standing room only Friday morning retailer focused session, that he brought a majority of their buyers to the show to spend their time visiting every exhibitor to evaluate product and execute deals. Collegiate buyers from major universities, as well as buyers from Academy Sports & Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Pro Image Sports, Wal-Mart, Target, HSN, Sports Authority, Costco,, Lids, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Sport Chalet, TJX Companies and Kohl’s were also in attendance.

Exhibitors and buyers alike indicated that the show helped them meet their strategic and business goals:

“We are a brand new company, launched just under a year ago and this is our first time at the show,” said Cristin McGuinn of Row|One Brands. “We have met with truly qualified buyers and booked orders for our ‘iconic silhouette’ collegiate logoed shoes. Feedback and reception for our product has been very positive. We are excited to come back next year.”

Chelsea Cawood representing From the Heart Enterprises selling college fashion jewelry said, “It’s the right market-the buyers are looking for sports licensed product for their shops. It is a good marriage and a great business opportunity for exhibitors and attendees.”

TY Inc.’s Anne Hogan said, “The show has been a very positive experience for us. It was our second year to attend and the show has opened up different distribution channels for our products.”

“The show is always exciting, with new exhibitors and new products to see. This is our fourth year at the show and we are already looking forward to our fifth.” said Dusty Fiscus, buyer from Pro Image Sports.

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show will be back in Las Vegas next year, Jan. 14-16, 2015.