The Dodgers on Thursday were named the Club Retailer of the Year for 2013 by Major League Baseball Properties, in recognition of their commitment to driving merchandise sales.
The National League West champions experienced plenty of success on the field, but also excelled in the areas of sales, vendor and customer feedback, and creative marketing and merchandising efforts. That earned them the award, which has been handed out since 2005 and went to the Yankees last year.
"The Los Angeles Dodgers' merchandising and retail department has the support of an incredible front office and loyal fan base, but that does not stop them from working tirelessly to make the retail experience seamless for the fan through creative and innovative development," Howard Smith, MLB's senior vice president of licensing, said in a statement. "The Dodgers have made significant strides in increasing sales and brand awareness, and following their successful 2013 season it is clear that the future is bright."
The Dodgers opened the season with the league's highest average amount sold per fan and achieved a 50 percent increase in overall sales. They did so by transforming the retail experience at Dodger Stadium and getting the most out of relationships with licensees, such as popular children's brand Hello Kitty.
"It's easy driving such a dynamic staff," said Dodgers director of merchandise and retail Allister Annear in a statement. "The support from ownership and team leadership has been amazing. Whether it was building two new stores or rebranding retail as official team stores, as well as driving the fan experience to its highest level in years, I am proud to be a member of this organization and couldn't be more proud of my staff, from the managers and buyers all the way to the part-time program hawker and our warehouse team, which is a hidden part of our success on a daily basis.
"The sea of blue in the stands at every game is a testament to the pride of our fans. There is still a lot to be done and I know the entire team in the merchandising department is up to the challenge."
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff.