What are the responsibilities of a merchandising manager?

Sports merchandising is largely divided into two types of jobs:

  • Merchandising for a sporting entity such as a team, a player or a league
  • Merchandising for a sports apparel or retail brand

Merchandising for a Sporting entity

A merchandising manager for a sporting entity has the responsibility of finding and managing opportunities to monetise the intellectual properties of the sporting entity he or she works for.

This includes finding ways to monetise the logo, the name and other intellectual property of a team, an athlete, a federation, or a league.

Deals usually include a licensing and merchandising deal with a large sports apparel brand to use the entity’s log and name, or with a retail group to produce an exclusive apparel line or creating an inhouse retail operation to sell merchandise with the entity’s logo and name.

In this job, a merchandising manager’s responsibilities include but are not restricted to:

  • Meeting and pitching the entity’s intellectual property to apparel brands and other retail outlets.
  • Determining the value of the intellectual property by deeply analysing the market and demand.
  • Determining the revenue arrangements such as split of profits, or upfront payment, or a percentage of total sales.
  • Day-to-day management of the merchandising deal including invoicing and reporting.

In India and globally as well, entertainment stars have also entered the licensing and merchandising sphere by launching their own sports apparel lines.

Merchandising for a Sports Apparel Brand

A merchandising manager for a sports apparel brand or a sports retailer is someone who is responsible for the sourcing, management, and curation of products 

This includes but is not restricted to 

  • Overseeing the buying and purchasing process
  • Forecasting inventory demands and trends, and ensuring stocking is up to date
  • Negotiating with suppliers

A sports apparel or retail merchandising manager also has the additional responsibility of working with sporting entities and building mutually agreeable merchandising deals.

These could be a deal as large as an apparel brand signing up as a kit sponsor for a sporting entity, or something as simple as a retailer stocking an exclusive line of apparel for the sporting entity.

Globally the sports merchandise industry is valued at nearly 30 billion dollars, while in India it is valued at about 30 million dollars.


To know more about opportunities in the Indian sports merchandising sector, and to find out how well your passion, personality and proficiency are suited for such a role, visit us at www.sporjo.com/sporscorr/register and take our SPORSCORR test today.