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Market Share and Position for New Era Hats

Updated on July 16, 2013
The 59Fifty sticker on New Era caps
The 59Fifty sticker on New Era caps

It is extremely important for a business to understand where it stands with its customers and which market it falls into. This allows them to focus on that market and make proper decisions on how to play into this market. In this paper, we will be looking at the company New Era and specifically at their 59Fifty line of caps in order to identify the company's product positions, market share, and the marketing research that helped to build its popularity.

A collection of New Era 59Fifty caps at one of their flagship stores
A collection of New Era 59Fifty caps at one of their flagship stores

Positioning for New Era

New Era would be considered a Star on the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix. This is for a number of reasons. The company has been around since 1920, starting out making caps for baseball teams out of New York. In the early 1990s, they signed a contract to be the only company to produce all of the caps for every Major League Baseball team. They hold the licenses to over 200 teams, including all of the Major League Baseball teams, Little League Baseball, National Hockey League, NBA, Collegiate Licensing Company, Minor League Baseball, Baseball Canada, USA Hockey, Harwood Classics and Arena Football League. New Era owns the market for team logo ball caps.

Their 59Fifty line is one of a kind, with their special sizing fitted caps and logos, which few if not no other companies have the right to use. They continue to grow and expand their line, creating more hat designs and colors for hat collectors to purchase.

All Major League Baseball Players wear New Era brand caps
All Major League Baseball Players wear New Era brand caps

New Era does not do traditional marketing. They do not have many commercials or magazine advertisements. They have a very unique way of advertisement, through the use of their products. Since no one else can produce hats for the Major Leagues, baseball fans know that if they want to wear what their favorite players wear, they just need to purchase New Era 59Fifty caps. It has become a status symbol to leave the New Era sizing sticker on the caps, to display authenticity. This also serves as a way to advertise the caps to other people. The MLB also has a contract with New Era to have players wear the 59Fifty caps during televised games.

Caps displaying the New Era logo
Caps displaying the New Era logo

Market Share for New Era

New Era owns most of the cap market. They are the only company to own many MLB and NFL logos. They also produce a fitted hat that very few other companies make. They own a large market share, because there is not anyone who heavily competes against them. The company continues to grow and make high quality, cost efficient caps, regardless of their ability to become a monopoly.

Even Babe Ruth wore hats made by New Era
Even Babe Ruth wore hats made by New Era

Marketing Research for New Era

The company uses their sales to determine the way the market is going. They sell their caps all over the United States and each area has different logos that sell a little better. In New York, for instance, the Yankees logo caps will have higher sales than the Royals logo caps. The company understands these marketing trends and offers all logos in all areas, but offers more variety of colors and styles of the local teams for the specific areas.

New Era often unveils new designs during highly televised MLB games. They can then track how well these designs sell, not only at the stadiums, but throughout their stores and online.

A view in one of New Era's flagship stores
A view in one of New Era's flagship stores

In conclusion, New Era is a leader among their market. They remain a Star on the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix. They own most of their market share and are growing tremendously. They use their sales as a way to track the market trends and will continue to grow as a company.

Boston Consulting Group Matrix for New Era

Name of Product
Market
Description
Market Growth Rate
Share of This Market
BCG Category
Strategy
New Era; 59Fifty
Sports fans, fashion followers, hat collectors
New Era produces ball caps with team logos
High.
High. The market continues to grow and the sales will continue to rise.
Star
Keep selling. No major new marketing is needed. The current strategy of using televised games and players wearing the caps is doing well.

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References

Tanner, J., Raymond, M. & Schuster, C. (2010). Principles of marketing (1st ed.). Irvington, NY: Flatworld Knowledge.

"New Era Cap Company, Inc." PrivCo. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://www.privco.com/private-company/new-era-cap-company>.

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