Levy looks to do to merchandise, what they did with stadium food - turn the industry upside down. The premium food vendor for countless number of stadiums and arenas across the country are diving head first into the merchandise game after dabbling in it the past couple of years.
"This move is about resetting how fans look at merchandise at an event and beyond, like how Levy first elevated event dining expectations," said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy. "Fans want more than a generic logo-stamped shirt. They want more customization and merchandise that pushes past the traditional. Rank + Rally will bridge the gap, focusing on exclusive and collectible products that give fans stylistic license to wear team spirit outside the stadium."
Rank + Rally launched as a wholly-owned Levy subsidiary developing custom merchandise and retail experiences for sports and entertainment teams, venues, and events. The company will work with resources across Levy to tailor retail offerings for each fan base, focusing on seasonal lifestyle brands and product lines.
This is the latest of spinoffs for the sports food giant. Levy started E15 in 2014, its data analytics and research division and just last year they created Curiology out of their Strategy + Creative Group to work with team partners in order to elevate the game day experience.
In 1982, Levy Restaurants took over the fine dining at the Chicago White Sox's ballpark, Comiskey Stadium. It didn't take long to move to the North side and take over food operations at the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs. Since then, Levy has continued to innovate the stadium food industry with ideas like the dessert cart or some of the insane, over-the-top food we see stadium at many of the ballparks.
Rank + Rally evolved from Levy's sports and entertainment roots, giving the retail outfit a unique understanding of fans and teams. The company will tap into those relationships to craft product collections and retail outlets that allow fans to feel comfortable showing their colors at any occasion, whether in the stadium or at the office.
A display of Las Vegas Golden Knights merchandise
Erin Jones will lead Rank + Rally as Senior Vice President, driving forward partnerships with iconic sports and entertainment brands like the Chicago Cubs and Golden State Warriors, among others. The company will create exclusive lifestyle merchandise, like the recently-launched Class of 67 collection for the St. Louis Blues. Immersive retail environments, like the Chicago Cubs Championship Pop-Up Store, exemplify Rank + Rally's mission to engage fans outside the venue.
"We're drawing inspiration from the most innovative fashion brands and our deep understanding of the sports and entertainment world to take loyalty from game day to every day," said Jones. "Each experience we create strengthens the connection between fan and team or institution. It's an approach that works across retail sectors like sports, museums, and cultural attractions."
Rank + Rally initial partners
Rank + Rally's newest partners, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE), the Vegas Golden Knights, and MGM, further showcase the company's reach. BSE and Rank + Rally will collaborate on new products, including lifestyle merchandise lines for Barclays Center's Swag Shop, which Rank + Rally will operate. Rank + Rally will also develop limited edition exclusive and inaugural apparel and products celebrating the Vegas Golden Knights' first NHL season.
"BSE has always taken a cutting-edge approach to elevate the fan experience," said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. "This partnership with Rank + Rally allows us to curate our retail to the tastes of our fans, while further differentiating ourselves in the sports and entertainment market."
"Rank + Rally and Levy are industry leaders when it comes to customer service, managing retail stores, and developing exclusive, innovative apparel lines that sports fans love," said Kerry Bubolz, President of the Vegas Golden Knights. "We are thrilled to work with them in this capacity and excited to collaborate on the design of official Golden Knights apparel that our fans will be proud to wear."