Americans love their sports. In fact, many males love them to death. According to a study by Xavier University of obituaries from 19 newspapers, 15% of men's obituaries mentioned some form of sports fan identification. Their closest loved ones knew how much the deceased's team meant to them.
What do these men get as gifts for Christmas? For their birthdays? Team-logoed clothing, home decor and other sports collectibles.
One tiny $56 million company is positioning itself as the leader in providing sports memorabilia and collectibles to fans by partnering with giant online retailers such as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), J.C. Penny's (NYSE: JCP) and Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN).
Dreams Inc. (AMEX: DRJ) is a sports memorabilia company based in Plantation, Florida. Through 18 brick and mortar shops, along with catalogues, online shops, franchises and affiliates, Dreams offers sports fans licensed team apparel, collectibles, autographed memorabilia, custom display cases and high-end framing.
The company operates two main e-commerce sites, ProSportsMemorabilia.com and FansEdge.com. FansEdge is the company's flagship online brand. In 2009, sales at this website grew to $60 million up from just $4 million in 2004. But that's just the beginning. Dreams also offers this platform as a turnkey webshop to an impressive list of clients, including AOL Sports, Majestic Athletic and the Philadelphia Eagles.
At the end of 2009, a total of 50 clients used the company's syndication services. Dreams also has agreements with Amazon.com and WalMart.com that allow the company to offer its FansEdge and ProTeam brands at these well-trafficked websites. In total, the company's e-commerce division recorded sales of $35 million in the fourth quarter 2009, up from $24.3 million a year earlier.
Total revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, were up +22.3% to $43.3 million -- a record for the company -- compared with $35.4 million in the same quarter of 2008. In fact, income from continuing operations before taxes came to $5.6 million, up +250% from $1.6 million for the same quarter in 2008. Even better, the company was profitable last year, and in the fourth quarter the company earned $3 million, up +165% from the fourth quarter of 2008.
And growth like this could continue. In March, the company announced that it had partnered with NBC Sports to manage NBCSports.com's online store. According to a recent article published by TrafficEstimate.com, NBCSports.com sees an estimated 5.2 million monthly website visits and Alexa, an internet traffic analyzer, estimates that the site NBCSports.com is in the top 500 websites in terms of traffic in the United States. In addition, Dreams has added more than 40 partner companies in the past 12 months.
Dreams began its partnership with J.C, Penny's in October -- expanding Penny's sports offerings from 1,400 to more than 100,000 -- and full-year financial results have not yet come in. According to Vista Partners, an independent equity research firm, this partnership could produce more than $20 million in revenue this year. Similarly, Walmart.com added Dream's products in the second half of 2009.
The company had about $580,000 in cash and $11 million in debt at the end of 2009.
Dreams is a very small company with great growth potential. It is rapidly building an e-commerce partner network, growing its revenue, and is already profitable.