Pop-Ups

NFL Commits to Month-long Bryant Park Pop-Up Space

The National Football League has tackled a 36,000 square foot pop-up store at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in time for its upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.

The space will be part “experience” and part retail, according to those close to the deal. From April 2 to April 30th, football fans will be able to purchase merchandise from NFL licensees like Nike, New Era, Under Armour, Wilson, and others. 

nfl photo bryant park 6th ave 400x298 NFL Commits to Month long Bryant Park Pop Up Space

1095 Avenue of the Americas (photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield)

The store will also offer exclusive items like the Statue of Liberty Gnomes and rhinestone NFL tees, a suitable gift for the sassy football fan in your life. The pop-up store’s first 500 fans will receive a commemorative 2012 NFL Draft coin. The three-day draft starts on April  26th.

The NFL will be taking the entire base of 1095 Avenue of America, with a part of the second floor serving as a VIP area, while the whole ground level will be used for retail. Those involved in the deal declined to disclose the asking rent.

Pricey confectioners Dylan’s Candy Bar was in the 42nd and 6th corner of the space during the 2011-12 holiday season.

When Dylan’s left, the brain trust behind the retail space turned to a simple brainstorm to see which brands they would ideally like to have as a temporary tenant.

“It was decided that we should make temporary deals a part of the leasing strategy so that large companies that have strong brands but which don’t necessarily have store locations could experiment with the concept,” said Alan Schmerzler, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield who handles leasing for the retail space at 1095 Avenue of the Americas.

Both Schmerzler and Eva Santiago of Blackstone Group, the owners of 1095 Avenue of the Americas, assembled a list of recognizable brands that they would like to see in the space on a temporary basis. and the NFL made it to the list.

“With the NFL, nothing speaks better than a major brand debuting all of their partners within their brand, and the interaction and interplay with [Bryant] Park is something that is very important to us,” said Ms. Santiago. “Plus it’s the first time it’s been done, so we’re really excited.”

They would not comment on the asking price.

In the long run, the pop-up concept is part of the leasing team’s strategy to fill the space up permanently.

“We really value as ownership who the potential tenant might be, and this is our way to send that message to the marketplace,” said Ms. Santiago.

Sports-related pop-ups have been a growing trend in New York City. Last year, Major League Baseball famously set up a 15,000 square foot “Fan Cave”  on 4th Street and Broadway.

Temporary space may be the preferred route for some sports leagues. The NBA moved to a temporary space on 590 Fifth Avenue after it left its 35,000 square foot storefront at 666 Fifth Avenue.

The NHL has its own storefront (in a partnership with Reebok) at 1185 Avenue of the Americas. 

drosen@observer.com