When you walk into a Build-A-Bear Workshop
OK, so the NFL uniforms making their debut this Thursday at Build-A-Bear aren't sweaty or pre-worn. They're new, clean, and quite petite. It still seems like an odd partnership at first glance, though. Yesterday's announcement that the stuffed-animal experience-peddler would be teaming up with the gridiron giants to produce toy clothing bearing the official insignia of every NFL team is peculiar. Unless you're a Chicago fan, football and bears don't exactly mix.
However, sports are already a major part of the Build-A-Bear catalog. Existing deals with the NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball make the NFL deal a natural. In fact, Build-A-Bear set up shop at the Super Bowl earlier this year to move Super Bowl wear for its line of teddy bears.
Customization is the key for Build-A-Bear. It's why you can buy everything from play camping gear equipment to belts to fake food for your self-created plaything. Cute little uniforms -- yes, they even come with soft padded helmets -- can only help. Build-A-Bear will be stressing the local teams, giving mall browsers a compelling reason to notice the often-lively retail establishment.
Food court. Food court. Must go to food court. Hey! Is that a bear wearing a Raiders outfit? I've got to check that out!
This doesn't mean that daughters will now be anxious to join their dads on the couch on autumn Sundays to watch football on DirecTV
The NFL deal is a good thing for Build-A-Bear because it's incremental. The company needs that after hosing down its guidance back in June. Last week the company raised its 2005 profit guidance. Build-A-Bear is now looking to earn between $1.24 and $1.30 a share this year. However, that will come on flat same-store sales growth.
That's why this deal can really help the company -- if it helps bring in more young male customers, or if the regional approach helps bring out the inner fan in every shopper. Build-A-Bear Workshop is expanding quickly (now with 190 locations in 35 different countries) and growing your base on bad comps is what did in Hot Topic
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can't say that his time spent inside a Build-A-Bear has motivated a personal purchase, though he may have to cave in when he sees one in a Miami Dolphins uniform. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.