Die-hard baseball fans will soon have a way to be close to their favorite teams in the afterlife.
Eternal Image Inc., which makes customized caskets and urns, said on Friday it has signed a multiyear licensing agreement with Major League Baseball that allows the company to reproduce the names and logos of all 30 league teams on a new line of caskets and urns.
“Fans incorporate baseball in nearly every aspect of life,” Eternal Image Chief Executive Clint Mytych said. The caskets could appeal to “a market that is just waiting for a way to make team loyalty a final statement of a great passion in their lives," he said.
The urns and caskets will go on sale next year at prices from about $600 to $3,500, Mytych said.
“Our clubs receive these requests with some frequency. We have really passionate fans,” Major League Baseball spokeswoman Susan Goodenow said, adding that the deal gives the sport’s governing body control of the tastefulness of the product.
Sports licensing accounted for an estimated $14.5 billion in retail sales last year in the United States, up 1.9 percent from 2004, according to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association.
The idea of sports teams’ logos and colors on caskets is not new as fans of Argentina’s most popular soccer team, Boca Juniors, can buy their own coffins decorated in team colors and symbols for $650 to $800, a small fortune for many of its working-class followers.
One of Boca’s soccer field chants says: “The day I die, I want my coffin painted blue and gold, like my heart.”